The premier of Canada’s Nunavut has voiced his opposition to a nationwide carbon tax, adding that all three northern territories are united in their resistance to the idea.
“We’ve made it pretty clear between the three territories … at [last April’s] Quebec City climate change conference that we oppose a carbon tax being imposed,” Peter Taptune told lawmakers in Nunavut’s legislature on Tuesday, the CBC reported.
“We do have a very delicate economy and more taxes put forth to our small businesses and our people is very damaging.”
Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski last week reaffirmed his government’s opposition to the introduction of a national minimum carbon price, something that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to announce following a meeting with all of Canada’s premiers on Thursday.
Northwest Territory Premier Bob McLeod has not confirmed his government’s position nor has he made any public comments on the issue.
Canada’s three northern territories are home to fewer than 120,000 people, or roughly a third of 1% of the country’s population, and as such account for a tiny fraction of national greenhouse gas output.
Nunavut’s Taptuna acknowledged the potentially devastating effects of climate change on Canada’s north, adding that he would press the federal government on helping the territory upgrade the ageing diesel power generators that provide the vast majority of the territory’s electricity.
“One of the things, of course, is that we want to modernize to new generators, newer engines so we could contribute less to greenhouse gas emissions,” he said, as reported by the CBC.
Separately, the leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives (PC) said they are willing to consider carbon pricing, the Toronto Sun reported.
“I don’t want to prejudge our process, but that’s not off the table,” Patrick Brown said, according to the newspaper.
While Ontario’s right-wing PC party has been very critical of Premier Kathleen Wynne’s plan to introduce carbon trading in the province from next year, Brown said he acknowledges that something needs to be done to fight climate change.
The issue is to be on the agenda of the Tories’ general meeting in Ottawa this weekend.
By Mike Szabo – firstname.lastname@example.org