Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says her government wants to see a price on carbon in every province and territory across Canada, but won’t get into specifics about how that might take shape in the coming year.
In an interview with the West Block’s Tom Clark, McKenna would not say if Ottawa would move to impose a pan-Canadian price on emissions, if there might be penalties for provinces (like Saskatchewan) that don’t fall into line, or if each province and territory could end up with vastly different prices on carbon.
“Look, we recognize that each province and territory is different,” McKenna said.
“I mean you look at the North, they have different circumstances there and so when provinces and territories design the carbon pricing systems, they need to be taking into account their own circumstances.”
The first ministers meeting held last week in Vancouver yielded a pledge from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that working groups would study carbon pricing models and report back in six months.
At that point, he said, he and the premiers would begin hammering out a nation-wide plan to tackle climate change. McKenna says that’s more progress than Ottawa had made in the previous decade.
“We have four provinces that already have a price on carbon,” the minister noted.
“More than 80 per cent of Canadians will be under a price on carbon (by 2017), and so really what we’re looking for is just to ensure that each jurisdiction has come up with their own carbon pricing model, because we realize that that’s one of the most important tools and one of the most efficient tools to reduce emissions.”
Watch the full interview above.