COLUMN: Federal Carbon tax unacceptable: Premier Houston

Premier Tim Houston. (Communications N.S photo)

The following is a column sent out by Premier Tim Houston to media.

On July 1, Nova Scotians will wake up to increases in the cost of gasoline, diesel and other everyday goods. 

The Government of Canada, led by Prime Minster Justin Trudeau, is imposing a carbon tax in Nova Scotia and across Atlantic Canada. This is despite our government having a better, common-sense approach to fighting climate change that doesn’t punish Nova Scotians, especially those living in rural areas.

Increases in gas may be acceptable in some large cities across the country, but a 14 cent per litre increase in gas is just not fair for a family living, working and attending school outside of a major city centre – where they don’t have the options of public transportation or bike lanes.

We agree with the federal government’s goal – to reduce carbon emissions across the country. We need to address the climate emergency. But we couldn’t be further apart on how to achieve it.  

Nova Scotia is a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We have the second-highest reductions in the country. And we already pay some of the highest rates for energy. 

We have a realistic plan that is better than the federal carbon tax. It includes some of the most ambitious 2030 targets in the country and policies and programs to meet them. 

Part of that plan includes developing opportunities in clean, renewable energy, like solar, wind and green hydrogen to make your homes more energy efficient and save you money. 

Nova Scotia’s plan creates good-paying jobs, helps reduce energy bills and makes our economy stronger, without costing Nova Scotians more at the pumps. We set benchmarks to hold us accountable and asked the federal government to give us time to prove we will meet our goals.

Instead, the federal government is imposing a carbon tax that will make life more unaffordable.

Nova Scotians should be proud of the work they have done to fight climate change – work we’ve been doing for years without a carbon tax. We are leaders in Canada with a record of success. 

My government remains firmly opposed to the federal government’s carbon tax plans to start on Canada Day. We do not need the federal carbon tax on the gas, diesel and home heating fuels you currently depend on.  

We ask all Nova Scotians to join us by speaking to your Member of Parliament and sending a message to the Government of Canada. 

Tim Houston
Premier of Nova Scotia