By The Globe and Mail Staff The Liberals are trying to make their carbon pricing plans more palatable to voters, by offering new tax breaks and by promising to support more renewable energy.
It’s a plan to win over those who have been largely disheartened by the election result.
And the plan appears to have been approved by cabinet.
Liberal cabinet minister Pierre Poilievre has said the Liberals will have a carbon price in place by July 2019, a goal the Liberals have been pushing for.
It has also been announced that the Liberals would invest $6 billion to upgrade the electrical grid and make improvements to infrastructure to protect the environment and people.
The Liberal government’s carbon pricing plan promises to make carbon prices cheaper by providing incentives to companies to buy carbon offsets, and also by providing an exemption from the federal carbon tax for those companies that are not involved in emissions trading.
But in order to make the plans more acceptable to voters and avoid a backlash from the oil and gas industry, the Liberals announced they would create a new tax bracket for companies to sell carbon offsets to offset their emissions.
In an interview on CBC’s The House with Catherine McKenna, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the plan would help reduce carbon emissions, especially as the economy recovers.
Morneau told McKenna that he has been asked by the energy sector, as well as the energy industry in general, to support carbon pricing.
He said that the Liberal plan would be a “fair and progressive tax.”
“If we can reduce emissions by 10 per cent, it would be in the best interest of the country,” Morneau added.
But critics of the plan said the Liberal plans offer a giveaway to oil and natural gas producers and could make them more vulnerable to a carbon tax.
“The Liberals want to create a carbon-pricing tax, but the Liberals haven’t actually made any commitments to carbon pricing in Canada,” said Kevin Donnelly, the president of the Alberta Chamber of Commerce.
“They haven’t made any promises to the industry, and it’s just a slap in the face to them.”
In a letter to the Prime Minister, the Alberta Energy Union said the carbon price plan could create “a more damaging climate change crisis than the carbon taxes currently in place.”
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said in a statement that the plan is “not a fair and progressive plan that will create jobs and growth for Albertans.”
“We are confident that the government will continue to take steps to ensure the tax system works for Albertan families,” she said.
A new poll shows the Conservatives lead the Liberals among people who voted for the Liberals in the election.
According to the Forum Research poll, the Conservatives are now leading the Liberals with 30 per cent support.
The Liberals, meanwhile, are trailing with just 14 per cent.
According to the poll, 61 per cent of those who voted Liberal in the last election said they want to see more carbon pricing measures.
Only 31 per cent said they support the Liberals carbon pricing proposal.
On Monday, the Trudeau government unveiled its Climate Leadership Plan.
It promises to create “one of the largest, most resilient and effective carbon markets in Canada.”