O’Toole’s carbon plan will be… voluntary

Erin O’Toole Even though he hammered for months that he would cancel the liberal carbon tax, his own carbon pricing plan that was to replace it will ultimately only be voluntary.

The Tory leader caused surprise by admitting, in an editorial interview at Toronto Star, that its “carbon credits account” would in fact be an “alternative” to the current carbon tax for provinces wishing to adopt it.

“We would offer them a plan to transition to this approach, which would not be a federal carbon tax,” O’Toole told the Toronto daily.

The conservative platform published on the second day of the electoral campaign, however, still promised to “abolish” the current carbon tax.

The Conservatives are actually proposing to create a “personal savings account for carbon reduction”, which would compensate for the carbon price that would be imposed on Canadians by virtue of their consumption of polluting fuels. These funds could then be used to purchase energy efficient goods, such as a bicycle, an electric vehicle or a new furnace.

The price would be set at $ 20 per tonne initially, then increase to $ 50 per tonne in 2022 not to be increased thereafter.

The federal carbon price is currently $ 40 per tonne and must gradually increase to $ 170 per tonne in 2030, in the provinces which have seen it imposed because they do not have a carbon pricing system deemed sufficient by the government. government of Justin trudeau.

The Liberal program then reimburses consumers equally, regardless of their personal consumption, through their taxes.

A long-standing promise

The conservative platform does not specify in which year the “carbon credit account” would be ready to be implemented. Mr. O’Toole just told the Toronto Star that it would be “quickly”.

It would be a complex mechanism to set up, requiring the establishment of an entire infrastructure to record the precise purchases of consumers, create an “account” to record their “bonus dollars”, and then ensure the follow-up of their purchases. purchases that should be energy efficient.

Conservatives, federal and provincial alike, have been opposing the Liberal carbon tax for five years. Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario – all led by Conservative premiers – fought all the way to the Supreme Court, but the highest court in the land ruled in favor of the federal government and upheld the constitutionality of its carbon pricing plan. Erin O’Toole supported these provincial efforts.

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