New Westminster-Burnaby MP Peter Julian made the announcement Thursday afternoon following question period, upping the pressure on the Bloc Quebecois to either support the Liberals in voting down the motion on Monday, or join the opposition push.
“We need to be the adults in the room. Given the panicked reaction of the Liberals, seemingly tied to their polling standing in Atlantic Canada. Given the Conservatives, for once, put forward a motion that doesn’t deny climate change, we will be supporting that motion,” Julian said.
Julian added that the NDP unsuccessfully tried to attach their push for a GST exemption to all forms of home heating to the Conservative motion. He says they still see this as the best way to address heating affordability since the carbon price pause would not affect provinces like B.C. and Quebec that have their own pricing system and not the federal backstop.
A federal government source called the move from the NDP “quite shocking” following their “tough talk” on climate action.
Julian told reporters that they view this as an equity motion, not an environmental one and that’s why they will be voting with the Tories.
“The motion today is for once not a crazy climate denying motion. It just refers to the equity of ensuring that takes of all types of home heating and in all regions actually can benefit from that,” Julian said.
In an emailed response, Joanie Riopel, spokesperson for Bloc Lead Yves-Francois Blanchet said the party has not made a decision yet but noted the federal carbon price does not apply in Quebec, and added the party invites the Conservatives to show an interest in files that impact the province including calls to extend emergency benefits to small and medium sized enterprises in Quebec facing bankruptcy
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland’s press secretary, Katherine Cuplinskas says the price on pollution exists to combat climate change.
“It is the most effective way to fight climate change while putting more money back into the pocket of Canadians. 8 out of every 10 Canadians get more money than they pay,” she said in an emailed statement.
Prior to this, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said the party would discuss the motion but had concerns. Namely, the NDP’s feeling that the Conservatives aren’t taking climate change seriously and that this motion wouldn’t affect provinces that aren’t under the federal carbon price like B.C.
Throughout question period on Thursday, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre and members of his caucus continued to press the government on if Trudeau would allow Liberals to vote freely on this motion and if it they would make it a confidence matter.
Last Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, flanked by the Atlantic Liberal caucus, announced that there will be a three-year pause on the carbon price for home heating oil, which is primarily used in the Maritimes.
In addition, Ottawa plans to work with provinces that are interested to get low-income people heat pumps to replace heating oil.
On Tuesday, Trudeau said the will “absolutely not” be anymore carve-outs to the carbon price.
Global News has reached out to the Conservatives for comment.
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