April 17th, 2024

Trudeau accuses N.L. premier of ‘bowing to political pressure’ in carbon tax spat

By The Canadian Press on March 15, 2024.

N.L. Premier Andrew Furey takes questions from reporters as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on, in Clarenville N.L. on March 15, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Daly

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – The chummy Liberal leaders of Canada and of Newfoundland and Labrador are sparring over the federal government’s carbon pricing regime.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters today he believes Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey is “continuing to bow to political pressure” in his opposition to an anticipated increase next month to carbon costs.

His comments come after Furey publicized a letter he wrote to Trudeau on Monday asking the prime minister to halt the increase on carbon pricing set for April 1, as people in the province struggle with the cost of living.

Furey has spoken out about carbon pricing in the past, joining his fellow Atlantic premiers in calls to exempt home heating from the pricing regime, and to extend the deadline for provinces to submit their own plans.

Nonetheless, the province’s Opposition Progressive Conservatives have tried to link Furey to the so-called carbon tax, tweeting Wednesday that they stood with the federal Conservatives in “calling on the Trudeau and Furey Liberals” to “spike the hike.”

Trudeau says conversations about carbon pricing are too often dominated by its cost, rather than the rebates it generates for the majority of Canadian households.

“I think Canadians in Newfoundland and Labrador, and right across the country, expect their governments to do the right thing,” Trudeau said. “And the right thing, right now, is not just fighting climate change and spurring innovation for the future. It’s about being there to support Canadians during this affordability crisis.”

Trudeau says about 80 per cent of households receive more from the rebate than they pay in carbon pricing.

Furey, the country’s only Liberal provincial premier, has long touted his close relationship with Trudeau.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 15, 2024.

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