Premiers on the east coast of Canada are trying to stop the federal carbon tax.
On Canada Day, the carbon tax will put the cost of gas, diesel and home heating fuel up by 14 to 17 cents per litre.
Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston joined other Atlantic Premiers this week, in calling for a meeting as soon as possible with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss the disproportionate impact of the federal government’s new clean fuel standards on Atlantic Canadians.
The Council of Atlantic Premiers met virtually on Wednesday, June 21st, with Stephen Guilbeault, federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, seeking options to reduce the impact of implementing the clean fuel standards.
The premiers and Minister Guilbeault previously met in May, but the Minister presented no new information nor any possible solutions to mitigate impact and did not agree to delay implementation of the regulations on July 1st.
The premiers have written a letter to the Prime Minister asking for a meeting immediately to seek a pause in the implementation of the clean fuel standards until further analysis can be completed on the impact these regulation changes will have on Atlantic Canadians.
Below is a copy of the letter sent to the Prime Minister:
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,
On behalf of the Council of Atlantic Premiers, I am writing to request a meeting with you at your earliest convenience to ensure you understand the significant and disproportionate impact the Clean Fuel Regulations imposed by your government will have on Atlantic Canadians.
Atlantic Provinces remain committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Together as a region and in our respective provinces, Atlantic Premiers are aggressively taking climate action. We have made substantial progress to advance the green transition, particularly as it relates to renewable and non-emitting energy development. We continue to be an active partner for collective efforts to address climate change.
However, we are increasingly concerned that federal measures with a known disproportionate impact on Atlantic Canada are proceeding and will take effect on July 1, 2023, resulting in significant price increases for gasoline and diesel. These increases will create additional inflationary pressures on Atlantic Canadians and come at a time when the cost of living continues to increase.
On Wednesday, Atlantic Premiers met with Minister Guilbeault as a follow-up to our May 24, 2023 meeting to convey once again the unique and troubling circumstances the Clean Fuel Regulations create in our region. We were deeply disappointed the Minister did not provide any new information on the impacts of this federal policy on Atlantic Canadians. We were further dismayed the Minister did not offer any solutions to rectify the inequitable burden shouldered by Atlantic Canadians as a result of the regulations, even though we and others, including the Parliamentary Budget Officer and the federal Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement, have long been warning of the impact.
This issue requires your urgent attention. As they stand, these regulations ask Atlantic Canadians to take on more than their share and to be impacted more than any other part of the country. Given the pending implementation date of July 1, 2023, we are requesting a meeting with you as soon as possible. We urge you to delay implementation of these measures until further analysis and mitigative actions are in place. We look forward to a timely meeting on this matter of utmost importance to Atlantic Canadians.
Hon. Dennis King
Premier of Prince Edward Island
Chair, Council of Atlantic Premiers