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Trudeau Challenged By Kinew’s Carbon Tax in Break With Poilievre

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Introduction

A political standoff is brewing over carbon pricing between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew. In a recent interview, Kinew broke ranks and accepted Trudeau’s challenge to propose an alternative to the escalating federal carbon tax.

Kinew touted Manitoba’s investments in emissions-free hydropower as justification for an exemption. This pits him against ally Pierre Poilievre, who vows on the campaign trail to “axe the tax” he deems unaffordable.

By speaking out, Kinew directly challenges Trudeau’s authority on carbon pricing. Manitoba joins other conservative premiers in slamming the tax as punitive. But Trudeau remains uncompromising.

The polarizing debate crystallizes around affordability concerns and emissions cuts. With the tax set to rise annually, its future shapes up as a wedge issue for the next election. For now, the battle lines are drawn between Trudeau and the rebel premiers over carbon pricing powers.

Manitoba Stands On Business

In a recent interview aired Sunday on Rosemary Barton Live, Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew stood on business and accepted Trudeau’s challenge in proposing a credible alternative for opposing the federal carbon tax, stating that “Manitoba has a really strong case to make that we’ve got a very credible path to net zero and has its electricity supply thanks to long term investments in hydropower”.

Manitoba deserves the credit for spending billions of dollars on hydroelectric generating stations and transmission lines. Almost all electricity in the province is from hydro.

In 2021, the former Progressive Conservative government in Manitoba tried to avoid the federally imposed levy by instituting its own flat tax of $25 a tonne, but the federal government said that was not high enough. Manitoba backed off its flat tax and launched a court challenge, which it unfortunately lost.

Kinew claims that the tax disproportionately affects Manitoba economically more than being beneficial for its own purpose which is dealing with climate change. And instead of creating a suffocating and an unaffordable lifestyle for his own people, Kinew aims to show flexibility and maintain affordability for citizens while still committing to solve the climate crisis.

“Governments like ours that are committed to solving the climate crisis, at least doing our part, we have to show that we’re going to be flexible, we’re going to keep life affordable,” he said.

As for the carbon pricing, it has just risen to $80 a tonne on April 1st, up from the previous $65 a tonne. The price will continue to rise annually by $15 until it reaches $170 a tonne by 2030.

Poilievre is Canadian’s Support System Against Trudeau

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre strikes back with his support of Manitoba’s attempt in exempting from the federal carbon tax stating that Manitoba already produces a phenomenal amount of green energy and carbon tax will come nowhere near the benefit of expanding that energy. 

During a visit to Manitoba, Poilievre has opposed the carbon pricing calling for the tax to be “axed”. However, with the ramping up pressure on the government to stop what he calls “April’s fool’s tax hike” and the public announcement of Poilievre in supporting Manitoba, Kinew plays a behind the scenes approach instead of a public demand of canceling the tax.

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre has been relentlessly campaigning to “axe the tax” – the federal carbon tax. He hosts rallies, runs ads, and sells merchandise vowing to scrap the policy he calls an unaffordable burden. 

Supporters chant the slogan as carbon pricing emerges as a partisan wedge issue. But what do Poilievre’s supporters mean when they cry “axe the tax”?

For struggling Canadians like stay-at-home mom Sarah Morin, who has been using a food bank amid the rising cost of living,, axing the tax represents “freedom” from financial stress. Others see it as meaning lowered costs for necessities like housing and food. 

The slogan taps into real anxieties about inflation and the cost-of-living crisis. Poilievre is successfully turning climate policy into an affordability issue.

The liberals want you to believe that Poilievre’s attacks use half-truths about carbon pricing, that households get rebates offsetting the tax, and pricing pollution incentivizes emissions cuts. But the Liberals have failed to effectively communicate the rebates, and there seems to really not be any Canadian who is actually benefiting from these so called rebates. Poilievre’s populist message resonates with frustration despite missing nuance.

Poilievre shows political savvy in targeting swing regions and voters receptive to his pitch. He has also forced a no-confidence vote over the tax to embarrass the government.

Seven conservative premiers also want the tax paused, but Trudeau insists provinces lack credible alternatives to meet climate goals.

Environmentalists accuse Poilievre of exploiting fears for political gain. But affordability concerns give him a strong campaign line ahead of the next election. 

The polarized debate entrenches differences instead of finding common ground. With inflation high, axing the tax remains an evocative political slogan.

Overall, Poilievre has skillfully weaponized carbon pricing opposition. While experts dispute his claims, the affordability perspective strikes a chord. Trudeau must better explain the policy but faces an uphill slog. Poilievre’s “axe the tax” crusade will likely persist as a partisan wedge through the next election.

Meanwhile, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, in a scathing interview, has called the Carbon Tax “punitive, reckless, immoral and inhumane” and stated that people lack practical ways to transit from carbon intensive fuels, stressing about the tax increases costs without providing means for people to reduce emissions and believes that the federal government has set unachievable targets that will result in production caps.

Saskatchewan premier Scott Moe also believes that the tax makes it harder for families and businesses to reduce emissions.

Arrogant, Lacking And Irresponsible PM Justin Trudeau

Although leaders and premiers unite together opposing the federal carbon tax, providing proof that their provinces are stable and an increase will not be beneficial, Trudeau on the other hand is putting ideological climate goals ahead of the well-being of Canadians.

Trudeau arrogantly dismissing the legitimate concerns of Canada’s provincial leaders to halt the carbon tax hike shows how out of touch the prime minister is with the struggles of average Canadians. Accusing the conservative premiers and politicians of lying about the carbon pricing and misleading Canadians about the impacts of the federal carbon tax. 

Now, due to his failed policies, Trudeau faces an incredible amount of attacks, voters have started siding with politicians who actually bear their well-being in mind.

And what does Trudeau do to gain these voters back? He once more shows his hypocrisy and accuses Poilievre of lying to Canadians about the carbon tax, just because of his righteous crusade of constant efforts against the carbon tax hike.

Trudeau is also pushing back against premiers who have been stressing about canceling the increase to the federal carbon price, saying they have not proposed better ideas to fight climate change, claiming the Liberals remain open to proposals for credible systems that will reflect the realities of regions and meet the benchmark.

But if Trudeau really cared about affordability, he would axe the tax. Instead, he continues pandering to environmental radicals at the expense of hard-working Canadians. His patronizing rhetoric about rebates adds insult to injury.

Now more than ever, Trudeau appears to be politically tone-deaf and disconnected from the plight of ordinary citizens, he claims that as Canadians, we are not acknowledging that rebates help offset costs for most households, repeating the same line over and over again that “8 out of 10 families across the country in federal backstop jurisdictions make more money with the Canada Carbon Rebate than it costs with the price on pollution.”

Yet it somehow manages to pass over Trudeau’s head how this tax is one of the biggest causes of an unaffordable and tough lifestyle for the Canadians.

Canadians are rightfully frustrated and fed up with this carbon tax burden. The PM should start listening, or he may find himself joining the ranks of the unemployed.

Provincial leaders like Scott Moe, Danielle Smith, and Blaine Higgs deserve praise for giving a voice to families struggling under the burden of the carbon tax, unlike the liberals, who are comfortably turning a blind eye to the dire situation.

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