'They Need to Elect More Liberals'; Hutchings Responds to Criticism From Prairies on Carbon Tax

Gudie Hutchings (File Photo)

The federal government is coming under fire for a three-year pause on the carbon tax on home heating which favours Atlantic Canada. But a Newfoundland MP suggests that the Prairie Provinces elect more Liberals.

Ottawa last week exempted Newfoundland and Labrador and the Maritimes from the carbon tax on oil used for home heat for three years. Critics suggest the Liberals did so because of weak polling numbers in the region, but the government says otherwise.

The rebate for oil to heat pump conversion will be doubled so that people will not be out-of-pocket.

Cabinet minister and Newfoundland MP Gudie Hutchings says the Atlantic Liberal Caucus presented their preferences to cabinet, thus the decision to tweak the program.

More homes in Saskatchewan and Alberta are heated with natural gas than oil, while Atlantic Canada relies more heavily on oil. The premiers out west are wondering why the three-year pause does not apply to heat created by burning natural gas.

MP Hutchings, whose portfolio includes responsibility for rural Canada, says it’s about putting money in people’s pockets but they’re willing to listen to proposals from other parts of Canada.

She was speaking on CTV’s flagship news program Question Period on the weekend.

Hutchings says that maybe they should elect more Liberals on the Prairies so that they can have the conversation for that part of the country as well.

The Liberals have traditionally been under-represented in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

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