OTTAWA – The Opposition Conservatives are pressuring the Trudeau government to divulge how much the federal carbon tax will cost Canadian households – but Finance Minister Bill Morneau says they’ll have to wait until September to find out.
The Liberals’ controversial carbon pricing policy has been under regular attack by the Tories, who are hoping it will become a key campaign issue ahead of next year’s federal election.
During a parliamentary committee hearing Thursday, Morneau was repeatedly pressed by Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre to disclose how much the carbon tax would cost Canadian families.
In response, Morneau said the plan will be revenue neutral overall and that there will be no net increase in taxes.
However, he added that details on how much people will pay will only be determined in September after each province reveals their individual approaches to applying the policy.
Poilievre then suggested Morneau was asking MPs to pass budget legislation that would allow the government to impose the carbon tax before explaining how much it would cost their constituents.
The Tories have attacked the Liberals’ carbon tax policy and have argued it will raise prices on almost everything – from gasoline and groceries – without actually cutting emissions.
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The carbon price is set to rise from $10 per tonne per year until it reaches $50 per tonne in 2022.
The Liberal government has argued that putting a price on carbon has a low cost and a big impact.
The government has said carbon pricing encourages the pursuit of innovative ways for reducing emissions and will help Canada meet its international commitment to reduce climate-changing emissions.