Amid complaints from the left that his budget contained nothing to deal with climate change, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has shot down the idea that his government is about to put a price on carbon emissions.
“Anybody who tells you that a carbon tax is an environmental policy is trying to pull the wool over your eyes,” Harper said in Winnipeg.
Ontario has just announced a cap and trade system to put a price on carbon emissions while British Columbia and Quebec have carbon taxes on gasoline and other fuels.
According to the Toronto Star, Harper doesn't view those schemes as anything but money grabs.
But Harper said such emissions-reduction plans are really only designed to enrich governments. “The reason governments do carbon taxes is not so they can reduce emissions but so they can get more tax revenue in the government’s pocket,” he told the media.
Harper said that Canada's plans and regulations to curb carbon emissions, while not exactly the same as the United States', will be similar.
The PM has long maintained that Canada cannot take action that is out of step with the country's largest trading partner without putting the economy at risk.
The Conservatives are expected to unveil their plans later this year.