A Conservative member of Parliament from New Brunswick is raising eyebrows on both sides of the aisle by calling on the province to abandon its own carbon tax system and adopt the federal floor price on carbon.
New Brunswick Southwest MP John Williamson sees that as “the least-bad option for softening the blow to consumer pocketbooks while a litre of unleaded gas hovers around C$1.70,” CBC reports.
“The backstop will kick in, the feds will take it over, and as part of that change-up… cheques will begin to roll out to New Brunswick families,” Williamson said. Even though the federal Tories still want to cancel the federal carbon price, he said the reality of that system leaves the province’s Conservative premier “no choice but to let it take effect in New Brunswick so consumers here get rebates,” CBC writes.
He added that a provincial Conservative government shouldn’t be seen to be administering a carbon tax on the federal government’s behalf.
“The quickest way to help struggling New Brunswick families with punishing gas & energy prices is for Premier Blaine Higgs to abandon his management of Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax by April,” tweeted Williamson, a former national director of the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation. “The federal carbon tax rebates are mailed to people on low, modest, middle. and fixed-incomes—not ‘the rich’ income earners. That’s the law.”
Higgs dismissed Williamson’s argument, saying it would be faster if Ottawa just abandoned its pricing system. CBC says the Trudeau government is still moving forward with the next scheduled carbon price increase April 1.
CBC has more on the arguments back and forth in New Brunswick, including Higgs’ failure so far to keep a 2018 campaign promise to completely negate the impact of the federal carbon price across the province.