Erin O’Toole says the Liberals’ carbon price won’t automatically get scrapped if he is prime minister

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OTTAWA-Conservative leader Erin O’Toole says her party’s version of a carbon price on fuel will not automatically replace the current levy that sparked resistance from Ontario Premier Doug Ford and other Conservatives nationwide.

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In a virtual meeting with the Star’s editorial board on Tuesday, O’Toole said the Conservative Carbon Pricing is meant as an “alternative” to the current system and that provinces where the current plan applies – such as Ontario – should Deciding whether to adopt a new one.

He did not say when the Conservative system would be ready, only that the O’Toole government would try to include the provinces on the subject “very quickly”.

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“This is something that Ontario can embrace, but I do not speak for the province,” O’Toole said Tuesday. “We will offer them a plan to transition to an approach that will not have a federal carbon tax.”

The Conservative platform says the party will “scrape” the current consumer carbon price, which liberals enforced through a 2018 law that sparked staunch opposition from federal conservatives and like-minded provinces. Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan joined forces to challenge the policy in the Supreme Court, which ruled in March that the federal carbon price was constitutional.

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At the time, O’Toole also vowed to abolish “Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax” if his party won the next election.

Now, the policy his party is proposing is a different version of the current liberal carbon pricing system.

Instead of raising the fuel levy from $40 a tonne this year to $170 a tonne in 2030, as the Liberals propose, O’Toole’s levy will be a maximum of $50 a tonne.

The Conservatives would also replace the existing system of rebates – which are sent to households as flat payments – with a rewards-style “personal low-carbon savings account” that allows people to pay through a levy on “green” purchases. Allows access to all money. Cycle or energy efficient furnace.

That means, instead of getting $300 this year, no matter how much fuel they burn, a single adult in Ontario would get to use all the money paid for through a levy on government-approved purchases.

The other component of the federal carbon price, the special system for heavy-polluting industries, would remain the same under the Conservative plan, although their platform says that the party would only allow this industrial carbon price to be raised to $170 a tonne – a measure of the Liberals. Pledge in form – if it is in line with the policies of major trading partners such as the United States and the European Union.

Earlier on Tuesday in Richmond, B.C., Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau continued to criticize the Conservatives’ climate plan that would fall back on Canada’s weaker emissions target for 2030. Trudeau also captured O’Toole’s praise for the defunct Northern Gateway oil pipeline, which would have been traversed. Northern BC, and pointed to a conservative pledge to reverse the Liberal government’s ban on oil tanker exports from the province’s northern coast.

“It’s the wrong choice for British Colombians, it’s the wrong choice for Canadians,” Trudeau said. “Mr. O’Toole is creating a vision of this country that will take us back.”

Trudeau also tried to entice NDP supporters concerned about climate change, keeping his Liberals as the only party progressives the Conservatives can rely on to keep from undermining federal climate policies.

“We are the ones who can stop conservatives from getting elected and taking us back to the climate,” Trudeau said.

The Liberals’ climate platform calls for a cap on emissions from the oil and gas sector – which have risen by about 20 percent from 2005 to 2019, with oil and emissions more than doubling over that time – that would begin in 2025. and net- zero with the rest of the economy by 2050.

The party also promises to ban the export of thermal coal by 2030, and mandates that all new cars sold in Canada be zero-emissions vehicles by 2035.

The Conservatives say they will mandate 30 percent of new cars sold in 2030 to be zero-emissions.

Meanwhile, the NDP has reported that Canada’s national emissions have increased since the Liberals came to power in 2015, and accused Trudeau of failing to fulfill his promise to end government support to the fossil fuel sector. have put.

Liberals have said they will end subsidies that encourage oil and gas exploration and production by 2025.

Alex Ballingle is an Ottawa-based reporter who covers federal politics for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @aballinga
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Stephanie Levitz is an Ottawa-based reporter who covers federal politics for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @ Stephanie Levitz
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