Seven Premiers pressure Trudeau to pause April 1 carbon tax hike 
The majority of Canadians and Premiers have now expressed opposition to the Trudeau Liberal’s carbon tax.

Mike Campbell

March 12, 2024

As the federal carbon tax is set to rise on April 1, seven out of ten Premiers have issued statements addressed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, asking him to pause his plans for yet another tax increase. 

Seven Premiers pressure Trudeau to pause April 1 carbon tax hike 

Most of their statements came in on Tuesday.

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs, PEI Premier Dennis King, and even Newfoundland’s Liberal Premier, Andrew Furey, have all issued statements asking the federal Liberals to pause their planned hike.

“I continue to stand up for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians against the federal carbon tax,” Premier Furey stated. “I am now asking Ottawa to pause its planned increase to the carbon tax, set for April 1st, as the high cost of living is enough of a burden on families.” 

Premier Smith responded: “Alberta stands shoulder to shoulder with people of Newfoundland & Labrador in their opposition to the Federal carbon tax, which makes life more unaffordable and hurts families.”

Premier Higgs took it one step further, saying the tax is “crippling New Brunswickers.”

The Trudeau Government’s tax on carbon pollution is scheduled to go up by $15 per tonne on April 1, aiming to escalate annually until 2030. 

Arguing that the carbon tax will cut emissions and foster innovation, the Liberal’s upcoming increase translates to an added 17 cents per litre on gasoline, 21 cents per litre on diesel, and 15 cents per cubic metre of natural gas. 

The only provinces that did not ask for a pause were Quebec, where they pay less of a carbon tax, and NDP-led Manitoba and BC.

However, Manitoba’s Premier Wab Kinew has previously asked the Trudeau Government to remove the carbon tax from natural gas. 

“The basic idea of getting broad public support for action on climate change means bringing the working person along. It means bringing the middle-class family along,” Kinew said in November. “So as part of a long-term strategy to combat climate change, we also need to show flexibility and help people who are struggling right now because of inflation.”  

BC’s Premier Eby, on the other hand, has insisted that he would implement a carbon levy even if the feds removed theirs. 

Canadians done with carbon tax

According to recent polling, a significant portion of Canadians are opposed to the increase.  

Prime Minister Trudeau announced in October a “pause” on the carbon tax – but only for those who use home heating oil. Trudeau said his decision came after listening to Canadians who expressed their financial concerns. 

The pause applies to all Canadians but primarily affects Atlantic Canada, where a disproportionate number of residents heat their homes with oil.

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre later said Trudeau’s backtrack shows he’s “in total panic mode.” 

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