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Carbon tax coming Saturday, Nova Scotia party leaders critical

By Caitlin Snow Jun 28, 2023 | 3:57 PM

Fuel Prices. (CREDIT: PIXABAY)

The carbon tax comes into effect this weekend.

We will see the cost of gas, oil and food go up. As Nova Scotia anticipates the price hikes, Federal Immigration Minister Sean Fraser says it’s a proven method that works.

“This is one of the most effective ways to reduce emissions, anywhere in the world. Jurisdictions that have done it…we’ve seen big success, but the reality here is that we want polluters to pay families for the damage that they cause,” Fraser said.

Fraser added that families are already getting shortchanged and at least with the tax, there will be a rebate.

When the tax hits, gas will cost 14 cents more a litre.

Provincial Leaders Critical

However, Nova Scotia party leaders are not having it. NDP Leader Claudia Chender is criticizing Premier Tim Houston saying he has not done enough to protect Nova Scotian’s from the looming tax by not working on the basics.

“There are many things Tim Houston could do as premier to help Nova Scotians with rising prices, including freezing senior and family pharmacare fees, cutting the tax on groceries, and permanently increasing and indexing the thresholds for home heating programs like HARP,” said NDP Leader Claudia Chender. “The Houston government has been in power for two years, and throughout that time we knew a carbon tax was coming. The Conservatives failed to step in and come up with a deal the federal Liberals could approve. There will be a dramatic increase in the cost of fuel this weekend, on the heels of historic cost increases on everything from food, to housing, to power, all because of Houston’s failure of leadership.”

Chender said other provinces will get rebates that are more in line with their cost of living, while Premier Houston did not fight for a higher rebate, and could take any or all of the following steps:

  • Freeze pharmacare fees;
  • Cut the tax on food to help lower grocery bills;
  • Permanently increase and index the thresholds for home heating programs like HARP;
  • Create a universal school food program to ensure all students have access to healthy food at school;
  • Raise the threshold for paying back provincial student loans to $40,000;
  • Immediately raise the minimum wage to $15/hour and create a plan to reach a living wage;
  • Raise social assistance rates and index to inflation; and
  • Make rent control permanent and close the fixed-term lease loophole.

Liberal Leader Zach Churchill is also concerned about what the tax will do, and says the blame rest on the shoulders of Premier Houston. He says Houston could have prevented the carbon tax by renegotiating the cap and trade system as an alternative way to price pollution. Houston meanwhile, claims that this was not possible.

Churchill has spent the last few weeks calling on the Houston government to implement vhanges that would alleviate some of the financial burden that the tax will bring with it.

“What he can do is help put more money back in people’s pockets. We are calling on him to lower income taxes, to freeze the provincial gas tax on the pumps, so that people can not have the big impact that we’re gonna have on Saturday, and we also think he can bring in a universal lunch program so all the families who are experiencing higher costs of food, they know their kids are going to have access to good quality food at school,” said Churchill.

The tax goes into effect Saturday, July 1.


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