Liberals undecided if carbon tax hikes will continue after 2030, minister says

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault said that his government hasn’t yet decided whether increases on the carbon tax will continue after 2030.

While speaking with Vassy Kapelos on CTV’s Question Period over the weekend, Guilbeault said “we haven’t made a decision on that,” referring to future tax hikes on federal carbon pricing.  

“We’ve started consultations to prepare the next phase of emissions reduction, so post 2030, in Canada, in fact, going to 2035,” he added, saying that the Trudeau government will announce its future climate targets in 2025, “as per our United Nations commitments.” 

“But by 2025, there’s no decision that has been made yet, other than we will continue increasing the price on pollution,” said Guilbealt. 

Outside of long-term hikes, the carbon tax will be increased on April 1, bringing it from $65 to $80 per tonne of carbon dioxide emitted.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre called for a motion of non-confidence in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government last Thursday over the scheduled hike.

“Today I am announcing that I am giving Trudeau one last chance to spike his hike. One last chance and only one more day,” Poilievre said during a Conservative caucus meeting last Wednesday.

Members of Parliament voted 204 to 116 against bringing forth a vote of no confidence, with all Liberal, NDP, Green and Bloc Quebecois MPs voting against.

According to the federal government’s current targets, the carbon price is set to reach $170 a tonne by 2030.

Federal carbon pricing has been very unpopular not just amongst the federal Conservatives but also provincially, with seven out of 10 premiers now publicly opposing the April 1 hike. 

Guilbeault responded to the opposition from the Conservatives and premiers by asking them to come up with a more effective measure to fight against climate change.  

“If there’s a measure like that lying around under a rock somewhere, someone needs to show it to me, because I haven’t seen it,” said Guilbeault, adding that the Trudeau government won’t be implementing any future carve-outs in the program. 

Opposition from the premiers appears to reflect the opinion of the majority of Canadians. 

According to a recent Leger poll, 69% of respondents were opposed to the hike, while the remaining 31% supported it. 

A motion to oppose the looming carbon tax hike also passed in the Nova Scotia Legislature last week, receiving support from all parties unanimously.

“While Liberals & NDP have flip-flopped, PCs have been clear we want the carbon tax scrapped entirely,” posted the Nova Scotia PC Party on X.

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