OTTAWA — Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre says he plans to make life really uncomfortable for the governing Liberals until they finally give in and produce their analysis on how much a carbon price of $50 a tonne is going to cost the average Canadian family.
With the Conservatives feeling emboldened by the electoral win of Doug Ford in Ontario, who campaigned on a promise to get rid of Ontario’s cap and trade system, Poilievre will introduce today a motion demanding the Liberals produce documents on the cost by June 22.
The motion comes after weeks of hammering on the issue by Poilievre and other Conservatives, who were given documents through access-to-information legislation that referenced such an analysis but blacked out the details.
The Liberals are requiring every province to have a price on carbon of $20 per tonne by next year rising to $50 per tonne by 2022. Legislation to establish a federal carbon price that will be imposed on provinces that don’t comply is part of the spring budget implementation bill.
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has argued the costs to families will change depending on how provinces decide to use revenues from the carbon tax but she hasn’t yet explicitly said how Ottawa will return the revenues to people who live in a province where Ottawa imposes its price.
The Conservatives say the people of Ontario rejected the idea of a carbon tax when they elected Ford last week, although the Liberals counter that a majority of Ontarians actually voted for one of the two parties that support carbon pricing.
Poilievre says if the Liberals believe their carbon price policy is legitimate they should show the costs and defend them.
And he says they can vote for his motion without backing away from their policy.
Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press