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Carbon tax: Trudeau responds to refractory provinces

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Justin Trudeau walks surrounded by his team at the new Maison de Radio-Canada, in Montreal. (Archive photo)

Radio-Canada

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A few days before the entry into force of the carbon price increase, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent a letter to the premiers of the provinces who oppose this increase.

On March 14, the premiers of the four Atlantic provinces asked Justin Trudeau to cancel or suspend the increase planned for April 1.

While saying he is fully aware of the pressure Canadians are under, the Prime Minister is trying to convince his counterparts by emphasizing the benefits for families.

Based on confirmations from the Parliamentary Budget Officer, Mr. Trudeau indicates that the government is returning carbon pricing revenues through the Canadian Carbon Rebate [and that] eight out of ten families are getting back more money than what they pay.

Mr. Trudeau devoted a good part of his missive to farmers and fishermen. The supplement for households in small and rural communities will double from 10% to 20%. These households will receive this supplement in addition to their basic rebate, he stressed.

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ELSEWHERE ON NEWS: Six people presumed dead after bridge collapse in Baltimore gasoline and diesel) are not covered by carbon pricing, he added.

Mr. Trudeau also attacked inflation, a favorite subject of his conservative opponent, Pierre Poilievre, who has launched a campaign against carbon pricing for several weeks.

The misconception that Canada's carbon pricing system is a major driver of inflation must be countered at all costs, because this is proven to be false. According to the Bank of Canada, carbon pricing is only responsible for about 0.1 percentage points of annual inflation, he argued.

The Prime Minister concluded his letter by affirming that the government is open to receiving any proposal for a credible pollution pricing system, adapted to the unique realities of your regions and complies with national criteria.

We will maintain the Canadian Carbon Rebate, a federal measure that helps us meet our climate targets, while putting more money back into the bank accounts of eight out of ten people in your ridings, he assured.

He and his ministers have repeatedly criticized Mr. Poilievre for presenting simple slogans without giving his own plan to combat climate change.

The Conservative leader has provided few details until now, notably on the question of whether he would keep in place the carbon price for large emitters, which should represent the most significant reduction in emissions.

He pledged to promote new technologies and accelerate the approval processes for clean projects.

With information from Louis Blouin and The Canadian Press< /em>

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