Canada’s Climate Plan isn’t set in stone

Deirdre Mitchell-MacLean

Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says more changes are coming.

While Alberta is in Court challenging federal jurisdiction to impose a carbon tax, federal Environment Minister says a review of the Pan-Canadian Framework needs to be done.

Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson reiterated that the most efficient way to reduce emissions is through consumption pricing in an interview with the Toronto Star Monday.

“It’s definitely one of the mechanisms that we need to look at in order for Canada to meet its targets,” Wilkinson said.

According to the Star, Wilkinson said that an increase in carbon pricing beyond $50/tonne in 2022 is “possible as the government prepared to pass a law that will set ‘legally binding’ five-year plans to reduce emissions.”

During the most recent federal election campaign, the Conservative Party of Canada claimed the carbon tax would increase if the Liberals were re-elected. The Liberal Party denied that increasing costs were part of their platform.

Since the repeal of the NDP’s Climate Leadership Plan, Alberta has been added to the list of provinces who will be subject to a federal carbon tax in the new year.

Carbon tax rebates will be provided but the rebate amount depends solely on income and family size.

Alberta is the latest province to have their day in court this week, in which the governments of New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Ontario are intervenors. The latter two provinces have been unsuccessful in their respective provinces with Saskatchewan losing their case in May and Ontario in August.

Saskatchewan filed notice to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada at the end of May and the SCC hearing is tentatively scheduled to begin January 14, 2020. Ontario filed its notice of appeal to the SCC after the federal election in October.

The government of New Brunswick announced a “made-in-New Brunswick” climate plan on Dec. 12.

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