Premier Andrew Furey calls measures announced by Ottawa yesterday a good first step, but he wants the federal government to go further.
He says the province impressed on the federal government the impact a federal carbon tax on home heating fuel would have on people who are still heating their homes with oil furnaces.
The Premier wants to see Ottawa go further along the full spectrum of fuel products to allow time for development of a broader range of options for people who want to make the switch away from fossil fuels “many of whom… are seniors on fixed incomes.” Furey calls the measures announced yesterday a positive first step.
Furey says the carbon tax is based on having options to change, and moving away from fossil fuels, but those options are limited for many in this province.
“There is no subway in St. Anthony. You do have to drive a (pickup truck) if you’re a crab fisherman hauling crab pots, or a miner or a logger… so there are no options for change.” Furey says if there are no options for change, “then the fundamental premise on which the whole thing is based, is flawed.”
Federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, who is in St. John’s today, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is “in full panic mode.”
He says one year ago, the PM and Atlantic Canada Liberal MPs voted in favour of the carbon tax, and raised it to 61 cents a litre.
Poilievre claims that yesterday’s announcement came after the governing Liberals looked at the polls and “found out they were facing electoral oblivion.”
Opposition Leader Tony Wakeham says it’s “about time” measures were taken to address the punitive impact of carbon taxes on things like home heating fuel.
He says the carbon tax should never have been applied to home heating fuel, and he believes that the change came as the result of negative polling results. “and that to me, is about politics, not about people.”
The stand-alone MP from this province who voted against increases to the carbon tax is applauding the federal government’s modifications to the carbon pricing plan.
Avalon MP Ken McDonald calls the changes “significant,” and thanks the Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland for “listening to their concerns and taking decisive action.”
He says difficult decisions must have been made to make the changes a reality, but it was the right thing to do to ensure that vulnerable people aren’t shouldering the burden.