September 13, 2018 7:08 pm
Updated: September 14, 2018 6:28 am

Justin Trudeau defends Liberal carbon tax at Saskatoon trade school

WATCH ABOVE: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau maintains that a carbon pricing regime will be imposed if provinces like Saskatchewan don't implement one.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood by the Liberal government’s carbon tax plan when speaking at a town hall at a Saskatoon trade school Thursday.

While speaking before a crowd of primarily students at Saskatchewan Polytechnic, a self-proclaimed “farm boy” and plumber asked Trudeau about the policy.

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“Where are we really going with carbon taxing? What’s really the point?” the attendee asked.

Trudeau responded by saying “polluters need to pay” and every province across the country should sign on to the federal framework in an act of fairness.

Governments in Saskatchewan and Ontario have been vocal in their opposition to the carbon tax.

“In that case, we are going to have to move ahead and bring in a price on pollution here in Saskatchewan that will start coming in as of January 1st,” Trudeau said.

WATCH MORE: Trudeau on carbon tax: Every dollar stays in Saskatchewan

Alberta backed out of the federal climate change plan in August after the Federal Court of Appeal reversed Ottawa’s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The prime minister said he would “love” to work in partnership with Saskatchewan and is not “a huge fan of having to make the federal government go it alone.”

“If they’re not going to put forward a plan that is actually going to do its share, like the rest of the country, I’m going to have to move forward,” Trudeau said.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan files constitutional reference case over carbon tax

Last month, the government laid out eased guidelines surrounding how much businesses can emit before being subjected to a carbon tax.

Saskatchewan disclosed performance standards for its “Prairie Resilience” strategy in late August and has no plans for it to be evaluated by the federal government.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan unveils climate change plan; will not submit to Ottawa for assessment

Over the course of the roughly 40-minute town hall, no one asked a question about NAFTA talks.

Canada and the United States continue to negotiate a trade deal after missing an Aug. 31 deadline.

-With files from Amanda Connolly, David Baxter and The Canadian Press

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