In the midst of an election campaign, New Brunswick Progressive Conservative leader Blaine Higgs announced his party’s opposition to imposing a carbon levy on consumers if elected on September 24.
The party would be joining its conservative provincial counterparts in Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. Blaine Higgs has nonetheless promised that a Progressive Conservative government would “meet its obligations to the environment.”
The federal Liberals under Justin Trudeau have promised to put into place a carbon levy on consumers if the provinces refuse to do so. Ottawa would then have the authority on how funds collected through the tax would be sent back to New Brunswick residents.
Higgs has declared that his party would join other provincial political leaders in opposing the carbon tax in the courts. This would include Doug Ford, Jason Kenney, and Saskatchewan premier Scott Moe.
Opposition to the Carbon tax has crossed party lines, with Liberal premier Richard Brown of P.E.I. refusing to implement the tax. This has led the measure to be described as “pretty much dead” by political commentators.
Liberal premier of New Brunswick Brian Gallant described Higgs’ legal opposition to the tax as “unrealistic.” However, the provincial Liberals have yet to impose a provincial carbon levy, instead permitting the federal government to regulate industrial emissions.
Gallant, who aims to form a second majority government, promised Monday to raise the province’s minimum wage to $14 by 2022.
The CBC’s poll tracker currently gives a lead to the Liberals, who hold 44.3% in voting intentions while the provincial Conservatives receive 33.2%.