Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole reaffirmed on Wednesday that he would repeal the Liberal carbon tax following a report that alleged that party MPs were worried O’Toole would implement his own federal levy.
“I have been clear that an O’Toole government would repeal the Trudeau Carbon Tax that makes everything from gas to groceries more expensive for Canadians,” O’Toole told True North in an emailed statement on the matter.
The recent Toronto Star report alleged that MPs were worried that O’Toole would embrace a carbon tax.
According to several unnamed party insiders, the concern over O’Toole’s plans was “widespread” and that such a move would create a revolt within the party’s base.
“A lot of this is that the Western MPs in particular don’t want to have to defend any change at all … They don’t want any change on our position on the environment. They don’t like the quote ‘moving the party to the centre’,” one source told the Toronto Star.
“For them, Scheer? The (2019) platform? All that stuff was perfect. They had no complaints. They don’t actually care if we’re in government or not, and that one piece has become extremely evident over the last few months … You’re not willing to give up five points (in a Western riding) in order to give that to someone in Ontario for us to win there?”
During his campaign to become the leader of the party, O’Toole promised to do away with the Liberal government’s federally imposed carbon pricing scheme.
“I will respect the jurisdiction of the provinces and territories by scrapping Trudeau’s carbon tax. If provinces want to use market mechanisms, other forms of carbon pricing, or regulatory measures, that is up to them. The federal government will be there to support them,” claimed O’Toole platform.
At the same time, O’Toole recently pledged that a Conservative plan would achieve Canada’s emission targets faster than the Liberal government would be able to.
“You’re going to see a very detailed plan … that will, I think, make our commitments probably faster than Mr. Trudeau without a running-out-of-control federal carbon tax that he’s already promising,” said O’Toole in February.
O’Toole has also stated that under his leadership, the party would adhere to the Paris climate agreement targets.
“I’m committed to that… committed to that through partnering with provinces, not an ‘Ottawa knows best approach’ as we’ve seen with the carbon tax,” said O’Toole in an interview with CBC Power & Politics host Vassy Kapelos.