News and Commentary

Trudeau Chickens Out When Asked About His Carbon Tax Plan

Justin Trudeau, who likes to pose as an environmental expert, has an interesting method of dealing with questions about the carbon tax he champions and exactly what gains it has given Canadians regarding greenhouse gas emissions: he refuses to answer the question, as do members of his government.

Recently that dismissive posture was displayed when Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, refused to answer a question from Robert Sopuck of the Conservative Party. Sopuck asked, “I have a very specific question regarding the $50 carbon tax: How much will Canada’s emissions — and I want a number here — how much will Canada’s emissons be reduced under a $50 a ton carbon tax?”

McKenna completely evaded the question, saying, “As I said, it’s important to understand that putting a price on pollution is part of our broader climate plan. We believe in numbers, so we spend a lot of time modeling; we also worked closely with provinces and territories. …”

Sopuck interrupted, “What is the number? What is the number?” but McKenna kept talking over him and refused to answer the question, as seen below:

Roughly a week later, Trudeau also evaded the question, as he was asked if he could tell the House of Commons exactly how much his $50 per ton carbon tax would reduce greenhouse emissions. Trudeau resorted to platitudes and never answered the question.

Video of that evasion below:

As Brian Lilley pointed out:

The Trudeau carbon tax plan starts at $10 a tonne and moves to $50 a tonne by 2022. According to several reports, Canada would need a much higher carbon tax to achieve the reductions this government has promised. An Environment Canada report from December 2015 said the price on carbon would need to be $300 a tonne to meet targets. A report issued by a pair of environmental economists last year suggest a price of between $150 and $220 a tonne.

Either way those a prices far higher than the $50 a tonne Trudeau is selling. If we need the price to be that high in order to meet targets then the research likely suggests that a $50 a tonne carbon tax won’t have the desired effect that Trudeau is promising. You wouldn’t want that getting out now would you? They also are likely afraid to be discussing the need for an increased carbon tax before the next election. In October 2019, the price will still be so low that it won’t be too painful but what would the public say if they knew that Trudeau was going to hike the tax to $300?