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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes an announcement in Calgary, Alta., on March 13, 2024. Image: CPAC video capture

Trudeau defends planned carbon tax hike

By News Mar 13, 2024 | 3:20 PM

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is defending his plan to raise the carbon tax on April 1.

That is despite a growing number of premiers urging him to pause the increase.

Trudeau was pressed about his price on pollution during a dental care announcement in Alberta on Wednesday.

“Does anyone really think you can build a strong economy for the future without, at the same time, fighting climate change and being responsible about the environment? The fact is, you cannot,”

“My job is to do the right things for Canada now and do the right things for Canadians a generation from now, and that’s what I’ve been focused on.”

The carbon tax, which is aimed at discouraging the use of fossil fuels, will rise to $80 per tonne in April.

That means the carbon tax will be 17 cents per litre on gasoline, an increase of more than three cents.

Premiers in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Alberta are asking Ottawa to freeze the planned hike.

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said the Liberals have created chaos and pitted one region against another with the carbon tax.

Singh told reporters Tuesday that there is a price to deter people from polluting, but it needs to be fair.

“We want to absolutely have a price on pollution. There is a cost of pollution and there should be a price on it to deter people from polluting, to deter large corporations from polluting our environment, that makes sense. But the approach can’t be one that is born on the shoulders of working people,” said Singh.

The NDP leader said they want large corporate polluters to stop polluting the water, air and land, using the strongest means possible.

However, he adds they also want to make sure that everyday people are not bearing the burden of the fight against the climate crisis.

Meanwhile, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is promising “multiple votes” in Parliament next week to try and get Trudeau to reverse course.

“Next week we will be forcing multiple votes in Parliament to spike Trudeau’s tax hike. The final vote will be next Thursday. Mark your calendars,” Poilievre said in a statement on Wednesday.