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Roy Green: Climate change plan is hardly pan-Canadian

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to supporters at an open Liberal fundraising event in Montreal on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 .
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to supporters at an open Liberal fundraising event in Montreal on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter McCabe

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s is pitching his “pan-Canadian” carbon taxation framework to voters.

Folks, though, appear to be tuning out Trudeau.

Climate change, the supposed rationale for carbon taxation, is not an issue of leading significance on the radar of the national electorate. The IPSOS poll for Global News released just last Sunday shows climate change trailing predictable stalwarts health care (35 per cent), taxes (28 per cent) and the economy (27 per cent).  Climate change stumbled across the finish line rather badly (18 per cent) in fifth place, while indigenous and women’s issues were of great importance to only 5 per cent of those surveyed.

READ MORE: A year away from election day and no-name Scheer is right behind celebrity Trudeau, Ipsos poll

That’s bad news for a prime minister who has invested much political capital on the climate question.

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Worse yet is the growing provincial firewall rejecting a pan or national carbon tax. Not long ago, Saskatchewan stood alone in declining the cooperate. Justin Trudeau could dismiss the province as an outlier to his grand scheme. Not so much any longer.

Now New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan stand united in their refusal to collect a climate change tax for Trudeau’s Liberals. By the end of next May, it’s quite likely Alberta will be added to the firewall — definitely, if United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney is elected premier, and possibly, even if Rachel Notley is reelected should the Trans Mountain pipeline extension disappear through political wrangling.

WATCH BELOW: Saskatchewan premier calls carbon tax a ‘vote-buying scheme’

Sask. premier calls carbon tax a ‘vote-buying scheme’
Sask. premier calls carbon tax a ‘vote-buying scheme’

Who among the electorate following the chatter of the prime minister’s and his environment minister, re their carbon (pollution) tax plan, has anything more than a vague comprehension of what the federal Liberals have in mind?

One is reminded of former Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall, addressing Trudeau at a first minister’s conference at which the PM had assured his carbon tax, lowered on the province’s agricultural sector, would later be returned by Ottawa to Regina, which could then return and redistribute among the original payors.

“What’s the point?” demanded Wall. Trudeau appeared flummoxed.

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COMMENTARY: Justin Trudeau throws down the gauntlet on climate change

On Saturday, I will speak with Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, who has described the Trudeau carbon tax plan as a “shell game.”

Also on Saturday, I will speak with Ross McKitrick, the Canadian economist specializing in environmental economics and policy analysis and professor at the University of Guelph regarding his Financial Post column, The Liberals’ carbon tax plan bastardizes actual, sensible Nobel-winning economics.

Without question, the political climate is becoming unsettled for Trudeau and his Liberal government.

Roy Green is the host of the Roy Green Show on the Global News Radio network.

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