The federal Conservatives are promising to unanimously approve fast-tracking of any government legislation that would give Canadians who use natural gas to heat their homes the same carbon tax break that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau extended late last week to those who heat their homes with oil.
Late Thursday in Ottawa, Trudeau announced a three-year pause on the federal surcharge that applies to home heating oil. Oil is used to heat about one in three homes in Atlantic Canada but few in the rest of Canada use oil. Instead, most homes in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. use natural gas to heat their homes. In Quebec, carbon-free hydroelectricity is the most common power source for home heat.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and Alberta Premier Danielle Smith all said in the wake of the Thursday announcement that the carbon tax pause should be extended to residents of their provinces, who use natural gas. And while B.C. has its own carbon tax in place of the federal fuel surcharge, members of Premier David Eby’s cabinet said they were surprised by Trudeau’s announcement
Trudeau announces 3-year pause on price of carbon for home heating oil
Now, federal Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre is challenging the minority Liberal government to remove federal surcharges on all home heating energy.
“Conservatives are offering our full cooperation to pass an emergency bill [Monday] to axe the carbon tax on all forms of heat before winter heat bills hit Canadians next month,” Poilievre writes in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a copy of which was provided Sunday to Global News.
Officials in the prime minister’s office were not immediately available for comment.
Poilievre was minutes away from a political rally in Windsor, N.S. on Thursday when Trudeau made the surprise move to pause the carbon tax on home heating oil. Only Prince Edward Island has a higher proportion of residents than Nova Scotia who use home heating oil.
The next day, Friday, Poilievre was in St. John’s, N.L., where he accused the prime minister of pausing the tax to save saggging Liberal political fortunes in the region. Multiple polls have indicated that Liberals — both federally and provincially — were suffering drops in support and that the federal carbon tax was a chief culprit.
“Justin Trudeau is in total panic mode,” Poilievre said in St John’s Friday. “Justin Trudeau is not worried about the cost of living. He’s worried about the cost of votes.”
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