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Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre (Adam Riley / Acadia Broadcasting)

Conservative leader to talk carbon tax in N.B.

By Brad Perry Mar 15, 2024 | 7:19 AM

The federal Conservative leader is bringing his “Spike the Hike, Axe the Tax” message to New Brunswick.

Pierre Poilievre will be in Moncton and Saint John on Friday before heading to Fredericton for a rally on Saturday.

The leader will also take part in a fundraising dinner for the Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick (PCNB).

“There’s a full-on tax revolt,” Poilievre told our newsroom ahead of a planned carbon tax hike on April 1.

“Polls show 70 per cent of Canadians oppose the tax. We also know that 70 per cent of the premiers are calling for the carbon tax hike to be cancelled.”

The carbon tax, which is aimed at discouraging the use of fossil fuels, will rise to $80 per tonne as of April 1.

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

RELATED: Trudeau defends planned carbon tax hike

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

Poilievre said his party would push for green technology, rather than tax hikes, to combat climate change.

“Speeding up permits for small modular nuclear reactors, hydroelectric dams, and tidal energy generation so that we can feed the grid with clean, green, emissions-free electricity,” he said.

The Conservative leader said he would also incentivize and permit carbon capture storage so industry can put the carbon back in the ground.

Poilievre said the country also needs to “mine the electric minerals of the future” such as lithium, cobalt, and graphite.

“Instead of driving up the cost of traditional energy we still need, let’s drive down the cost of carbon-free alternatives,” he said.

Poilievre will also join Premier Blaine Higgs on Friday night for the PCNB Leader’s Dinner in Saint John. Reporters have been told they will not be able to attend the $600-per-plate event.