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‘People are hurting’ Opposition says carbon tax would cost New Brunswickers greatly

Click to play video: 'Opposition parties respond to N.B. carbon plan'
Opposition parties respond to N.B. carbon plan
WATCH ABOVE: One day after New Brunswick’s action plan to combat climate change was unveiled; the official opposition is speaking out. As Global’s Jeremy Keefe reports, the other side of the house thinks any extra cost on carbon is too high for residents already feeling the pinch – Dec 8, 2016

One day removed from the announcement of New Brunswick’s climate change action plan and the official Opposition is voicing their concern over a yet to be determined carbon pricing mechanism.

READ MORE: New Brunswick to phase out coal, put price on carbon in new climate plan

The new plan contains more than 100 action items to transition towards a low carbon economy.

Establishing a “made in New Brunswick” carbon pricing mechanism is among them.

However it’s not clear what that will entail.

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“We want to make sure that the solution that we’re going to have is the best for the environment and the economy of this province,” explained Environment and Local Government Minister Serge Rousselle.

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Whether a cap and trade system will be implemented similar to Nova Scotia and Quebec or if a carbon tax would be imposed remains to be seen.

Energy Critic Jake Stewart is adamant that reducing emissions shouldn’t be done in a way that takes even more from already struggling residents.

READ MORE: N.B. climate change committee recommends open, transparent carbon tax fund

“People are hurting, people are hurting in New Brunswick,” Stewart said. “They don’t have any more to give. I see it every day, they just can’t take any more money out of their pockets.”

Stewart said recent energy plant closures have made New Brunswick a national leader in reducing carbon emissions and additional taxes would be unfair to the province.

“We’re talking about taxing New Brunswickers more for a target that we’re literally leading the pack in Canada on. Why would we bother?”

The First Minister’s Meeting on climate change begins in Ottawa Friday. Premier Brian Gallant will be in attendance.

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