Premier needs to clear the air on carbon tax plans: Trivers

New Glasgow  -  Premier Wade MacLauchlan needs to clear the air with Islanders about plans for a carbon tax, says Rustico-Emerald MLA and Opposition Environment Critic Brad Trivers.

“The Premier needs to clear the air about his plans for a carbon tax. Adding a carbon tax onto the HST and other existing fuel taxes will put quite a dent in the wallets of Islanders. Having closed door discussions with other provinces about a carbon tax without any clear plan of how that extra tax revenue could benefit the province’s environment isn’t being very open or transparent,” said Trivers.

In a presentation to a legislative standing committee last week Environment Minister Robert Mitchell revealed that the MacLauchlan government has been having discussions with other Atlantic provinces about developing a regional carbon tax. Carbon taxes are typically levied on fuels and other greenhouse gas sources such as gasoline, diesel, propane and furnace oil.

In the Minister’s presentation to the Standing Committee it was also noted that transportation, agriculture and the heating of buildings accounted for 84 per cent of the province’s greenhouse gas emissions. Trivers pointed to this as another reason why the MacLauchlan government needs to be clear about its intentions if a carbon tax would unduly target the farm and transportation sectors and homeowners.

“The Environment Minister told our standing committee that talks were underway on a regional carbon tax. Now he’s telling the media he didn’t mean what he said. This is starting to sound like the government’s evasions about increasing the HST. A carbon tax could have wide impact on agriculture, transportation and homeowners so the Premier needs to set the record straight now,” said Trivers.

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