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Atlantic Premiers call on feds for more time to submit carbon plan

By Skye Bryden-Blom Sep 1, 2022 | 12:26 PM

Marek Piwnicki / Unsplash

The four Atlantic Premiers are asking the feds for more time to submit a carbon plan.

This comes after the environment minister told Premier Tim Houston on Monday they would reject Nova Scotia’s bid to avoid a carbon tax.

Stephen Guilbault stated the plan does not meet guidelines or mention putting a price on carbon pollution.

The Atlantic premiers are all in discussions with the federal government over carbon pricing plans.

Now they’ve penned a letter asking for a short-term extension and they’re calling for a meeting with Guilbault to talk about solutions.

“We are deeply concerned about the affordability impacts of carbon pricing on households in our region, especially as almost 40 percent of Atlantic Canadians experience energy poverty – by far the highest rate in the country,” the letter states.

The premiers are worried the costs of energy will only make the current pressures stemming from sky-high inflation more challenging for Atlantic Canadians. They believe their discussion with the environment minister needs to focus on how to mitigate these risks.

According to our province’s modelling, the tax would cost the average household $2,000 annually.

Nova Scotia’s Environment Minister Tim Halman has issued a statement saying our government does not want to see further financial burden placed on residents.

“Too many Nova Scotians struggle with affordability issues. Many cannot afford to pay more for the price of gas and home heating oil,” Halman says. “Our daily consumption of energy is not something we can quickly reduce as prices spike. Our government is committed to finding a path forward that works for Nova Scotians.”

It’s believed the carbon tax would generate $ 1 billion each year. Increased costs to gas and power bills would be offset by rebate cheques.

The premiers have asked Guilbault to respond to their request by noon on Friday, September 2nd.

**With files from Steve MacArthur**


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