Discussion on carbon pricing needed in Atlantic Canada says head of commission

Is Ontario's future carbon tax already obsolete?
Could a carbon tax be coming? Canada's Ecofiscal Commission chairman thinks the time is right for Atlantic Canada to think about it. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michelle Siu

HALIFAX – The chairman of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission says the time is right for governments in Atlantic Canada to consider some form of carbon pricing.

Chris Ragan says the idea is a growing global trend with 40 national and 20 sub-national jurisdictions involved in either carbon tax or cap-and-trade initiatives.

Ragan says a carbon tax in particular is a better option for the economy and the environment for provinces looking to increase revenues, than other options such as increasing corporate, personal and sales taxes.

He says it’s a matter of being at the forefront of an increasing worldwide demand for low-carbon products.

A report released in November by former Ontario cabinet minister Laurel Broten on Nova Scotia’s tax system called for a carbon tax as part of a number of tax changes to improve the province’s fiscal situation.

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The Nova Scotia government has not committed to the idea, but hasn’t ruled it out as part of future fiscal reform.