Justin Trudeau is lamenting certain conservative politicians’ views on climate change, as Ontario Premier Doug Ford is rallying against the carbon tax in Western Canada.
“It’s unfortunate to see that there are still politicians, conservative politicians specifically, across the country who still think pollution should be free,” Trudeau said Friday, speaking at a press conference for the Gordie Howe Bridge in Windsor.
The comments also come in the wake of news that Manitoba pulled its plan to start charging a $25-per-tonne carbon tax this fall.
Premier Brian Pallister said he was backing off because he could not get Ottawa to promise it wouldn’t force Manitoba to raise that price to $30 in 2020, $40 in 2021 and then to $50 in 2022.
Now, Manitoba will have a carbon tax of $20 per tonne applied by Ottawa starting Jan. 1. It joins other provinces like Ontario and Saskatchewan, which don’t have a plan to reduce carbon emissions.
WATCH: Trudeau responds to Doug Ford’s rally against carbon tax
Ottawa is currently reviewing proposals from P.E.I. and New Brunswick. If their proposals don’t pass the government’s scrutiny, they, too, will be subject to the federal carbon tax.
At a press conference Thursday, Ford and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe spoke out against the carbon tax. Moe has vowed to fight the carbon tax in court.
“Justin Trudeau should stop holding the people of this country hostage, businesses hostage, families hostage on a carbon tax,” Ford said. “It’s a job-killing tax.”
WATCH: Ford: Trudeau should stop holding people ‘hostage’ over carbon tax
Ford said the tax doesn’t let Canada be competitive in the world market because they are competing against countries like China and India.
Ford will attend an anti-carbon tax rally in Alberta on Friday with United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenny.
The two premiers say the drive to kill the carbon tax is gaining steam, but Trudeau says the federal government will be there to stop it.
“If, as we’ve seen, a number of people don’t want to fight climate change, don’t have a concrete plan to do that, Canadians are counting on the federal government to do that,” Trudeau said.
“Climate change represents a real threat to us now with wildfires and floods and extreme weather events being more and more frequent and more costly.”
Trudeau also said Canadians should put pressure on politicians who aren’t fighting climate change.
“I think people need to ask folks who are refusing to fight climate change, refusing to put a real plan on board, why they aren’t thinking about future generations, why they aren’t committed to being part of the most economic and social and geographic challenges of our times.”
WATCH: Prime Minister Trudeau defends carbon tax plan as provinces push back
— With files from the Canadian Press