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B.C. deserves relief on heating bills, too: Eby

Click to play video: 'Trudeau pauses carbon tax on home heating oil, Poilievre suggests it’s due to poll numbers'
Trudeau pauses carbon tax on home heating oil, Poilievre suggests it’s due to poll numbers
Despite implementing a carbon tax to incentivize “people and businesses to pollute less,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Thursday that his government would pause applying carbon pricing to home heating oil deliveries for three years in Atlantic Canada. Conservative opposition leader Pierre Poilievre suggests the decision was made as Trudeau sits in “panic mode” as a federal election looms. David Akin reports – Oct 27, 2023

British Columbia Premier David Eby says it’s unfair that Atlantic Canada is being targeted for federal relief on heating bills that won’t apply to B.C., after Ottawa announced a three-year pause on carbon pricing for home fuel oil.

The pause announced last week applies to the 10 provinces and territories where the federal fuel charge applies, although home fuel oil usage is more prevalent in Atlantic Canada.

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan to stop collecting carbon tax pending Ottawa decision'
Saskatchewan to stop collecting carbon tax pending Ottawa decision

British Columbia, Quebec and the Northwest Territories are excluded because they collect their own fuel tax.

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Eby, who is facing calls from Opposition politicians to cut the province’s carbon taxes, said people in Atlantic Canada are struggling to make ends meet, but so are residents of B.C.

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He told an unrelated news conference in Victoria on Monday that a proposed heat-pump rebate that is being piloted in Atlantic Canada should also be made available in B.C.

“At a minimum, fairness demands equal treatment of British Columbians,” said Eby. “People struggling with affordability around home heating face the same struggle in B.C. It’s not a distinct or different struggle.”

Click to play video: 'Wilkinson defends carbon pricing pause on home heating oil, rejects it only benefits Canadians in Liberal ridings'
Wilkinson defends carbon pricing pause on home heating oil, rejects it only benefits Canadians in Liberal ridings

B.C. introduced its own carbon tax in 2008, which now amounts to almost 17 cents per litre on light fuel, including home heating oil.

“Here in B.C. we believe very firmly that part of the climate solution includes recognizing that carbon has a price,” he said.

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Opposition BC United Leader Kevin Falcon called on Eby to give B.C. taxpayers a break and eliminate the province’s carbon tax.

Eby said in the legislature carbon pricing would remain among the province’s weapons against climate change.

“Our commitment on this side of the house was to take strong climate action,” he said.

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