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N.S. seeking exemption from carbon tax, Premier introduces “Better Plan”

By Steve MacArthur Aug 19, 2022 | 11:47 AM

Source: Communications NS

Premier Tim Houston is calling on Ottawa to hit the pause button when it comes to imposing a carbon tax on our province.

Nova Scotia submitted its own plan to reduce emissions during a meeting with the federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault on Thursday.

“He took it with him,” Houston said jokingly at a media conference on Friday when asked about Guilbeault’s response to the plan.

The carbon tax would have a major impact on gas and power costs by 2030, but reports suggest it would generate as much as $1 billion annually to off-set costs. According to the province, the carbon tax approach would add more than $2,000 in annual costs to the average Nova Scotian’s household in 2025 and more than $3,000 in 2030.

Houston wants to see if their plan to reduce greenhouse gases will work first.

“We’ve put forward a better plan. It is more effective; it is more efficient, and it is more affordable for Nova Scotians. All three of those points are equally important.

Nova Scotia has been operating under its own system to tax polluters, it was introduced by the previous Liberal government, but now a new agreement is needed with the feds. Houston’s plan would reduce emissions by 17 per cent, exceeding the carbon tax reductions of two per cent.

“Our made-in-Nova Scotia plan has some of the most aggressive benchmarks in the country and will show results, “Premier Houston said.  “We’re asking the federal government to hold us accountable for our goals and timelines. If we can’t meet them, then I will accept that a carbon tax is necessary.”

Under the Nova Scotia government’s plan, costs would be less than $500 per household in 2030.

“Nova Scotia is already a national leader in reducing carbon emissions and fighting climate change. We can achieve our ambitious GHG targets without a punishing federal carbon tax,” said Premier Houston. “We have an opportunity to lead the way in the fight against climate change. We are asking the federal government to park the carbon tax so we can make history together.”

Opposition claims little substance to Houston’s carbon plan

The plan being presented by Premier Houston isn’t going to work according to Environment critic Iain Rankin who expects the federal government will not accept it due to a lack of information on how the province would meet the new goals being suggested.

“I wouldn’t dignify it by saying it’s a plan, I was hoping to have something to critique but this was nothing more than a slide show that goes over the targets that have been in place for some time,” Rankin said while speaking to media following Premier Houston’s announcement.

Rankin believes that the plan being presented by Premier Houston is just a way to appear like they have fought against the carbon tax for the sake of scoring political points. “They’re basically shielding themselves from the politics of the carbon tax, the Premier admitted that the federal government can impose the carbon tax and he’s trying to escape the political ramifications.”.

With Premier Houston’s plan being sparse on details Rankin is advising Nova Scotians to be prepared for gas prices to include the carbon tax as he feels the federal government will not give it the necessary approvals.



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