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Canadians Revolt Against Trudeau’s Carbon Taxes

In Canada, pressure against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax is mounting, as Manitoba did a sudden about-face on its intention to impose a $25-per-tonne carbon price this fall.

The Canadian federal government in Ottawa passed legislation last spring to give it authority to impose a carbon price on any province that did not implement its own tax beginning Jan. 1, 2019. It is starting at a minimum of $20 per tonne, rising $10 per year until 2022.

Although, Trudeau says Canadians gave his government a mandate to implement a national carbon price in the last election, the blowback in provincial governments is casting doubt on the scheme.

For example, conservative Canadian Premier Doug Ford rose to power and immediately scrapped that province’s cap-and-trade system and launched a legal challenge of Ottawa’s carbon tax plan. The Canadian Press reports other provinces are following suit.

“The blueprint Prince Edward Island submitted did not include a carbon tax and Premier Wade MacLauchlan says his province has a plan to meet its emissions reduction targets without one.

New Brunswick’s government is in flux following the recent election, but current Premier Brian Gallant intends to try to rename a portion of the existing gas tax in lieu of a new carbon tax, and Tory leader Blaine Higgs, who could become premier, says he refuses a carbon price and will join the lawsuit if he takes office.

Even Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, who introduced her own carbon price system before Ottawa required it, is now refusing to raise it in line with federal requirements because Alberta is irritated the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is in limbo. Alberta United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney, the front-runner to win the Alberta election next year, has promised to scrap the Alberta carbon price entirely if he is elected.”

Only British Columbia and Quebec seem intent upon keeping their carbon taxes. Despite the fractured provincial landscape, Trudeau will not be dissuaded from imposing the taxes.

While Trudeau believes he has a mandate to impose a carbon tax, Alberta Conservative MP Mike Lake disagrees, pointing out that people are voting provincially for parties that oppose the idea.

“It’s clear that Canadians, through the provincial elections, are stating their opposition to the carbon tax in big numbers,” he said. “This is the absolute cornerstone of their climate plan, and it’s disintegrating around them.”

The growing opposition to climate policies and carbon taxes in Canada is reminiscent of the protests over fuel tax increases in France and reinforces the truism that people want to reduce their emissions in the abstract, but they are actually unwilling to pay the costs associated with doing so when it has a real, and tangible impact on their lives.

Just south of the Canadian border, in Minnesota, Governor-elect Tim Walz and the DFL majority in the Minnesota House of Representatives want to boost their own agenda for increasing renewable energy generation and lowering carbon dioxide emissions. Make no mistake, these policies will come at an enormous cost in Minnesota as they have in every other country they have been implemented in.

Global warming policies poll well until they’re enacted, and then they are deeply unpopular. It’s simply a question of how much pain Minnesota politicians want to inflict on the citizenry before they are ultimately forced to backpedal on their economically destructive policies and once again legalize affordable energy.

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