Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Carbon Confusion Continues at Every Level

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Carbon Confusion Continues at Every Level

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Carbon confusion continues at every level


An editorial from the Winnipeg Free Press, published April 7:

The precise word choice for this situation is "maddening."

And what's interesting is that the reason for the increased level of ire is the frustrating imprecision that has plagued Canada's journey toward establishing, and perhaps someday actually meeting, standards for carbon reduction.

At every level of government, at every step of the legislative journey, carbon pricing, carbon taxes and carbon-reduction targets have remained a maze of mixed messages, conflicting agendas and insufficient explanations.

Earlier this week, the uneasy relationship between the federal government and Manitoba's provincial government was once again tested by federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna's apparent reluctance to explain what will happen when Manitoba's proposed flat tax on carbon fails to meet the rising target established in the federal government's controversial plan.

"We will implement the federal pricing system in any jurisdiction that chooses it or does not meet the national standard," was the best Ms. McKenna could offer by way of explanation.

The Trudeau government's carbon plan will impose a $10-per tonne levy on carbon emissions this fall, with the price rising to $20 at year's end and an additional $10 in each of the next three years, reaching a maximum of $50 per tonne in 2022.

Manitoba's green plan, on the other hand, imposes a flat $25-per tonne levy. The province's carbon tax would exceed the federal standard for its first year, but then fall below the rising scale's requirement in 2020 and beyond. How the shortfall dollars will be collected remained unexplained until Thursday, when Environment Canada issued a statement declaring that Ottawa will collect a separate tax to cover the difference. …

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