Alberta premier calls on Trudeau to fire climate czar Guilbeault, meet with provinces over carbon tax

If Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is serious about resetting relationships with provinces, particularly Alberta, Premier Danielle Smith says Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault needs to be replaced.

Alberta premier calls on Trudeau to fire climate czar Guilbeault, meet with provinces over carbon tax
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Rebel News’ Alexa Lavoie asked Alberta Premier Danielle Smith on Friday about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s refusal to have an emergency meeting with the country’s provincial leaders over his carbon tax hikes.

“Well, I can tell you his answer: that he met with the premiers in 2016,” Smith responded, noting that “none of the premiers currently at the table were at the table in 2016.”

“When they first implemented it, they talked about it having a $50 per tonne ceiling, and then they got elected and now it’s $170 per tonne by 2030, and when he’s asked if it’s going to go higher, he’s not answering. So how high is it going to go?” she asked.

Smith implored Trudeau to meet with the premiers to discuss the matter and pointed out that opposition NDP members are increasingly joining in the choir calling for the prime minister to meet with leaders in the provinces.

“We have a leadership race [in Alberta] where NDP candidates are saying the carbon tax has failed. In Saskatchewan the NDP is also opposed to the carbon tax,” Smith said, explaining that the tax has failed due to its lack of results.

“The reason it’s failed is because it’s not achieving the outcome. The outcome is, are we seeing a reduction in emissions as a result of people paying more for gasoline, diesel, and home heating? The reason it’s not working is because there aren’t alternatives yet,” Smith outlined, going on to criticize a statement by Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault that the measure would not start working until 2060.

“That means we’re going to have 35 years of a punitive tax that hurts people and doesn’t actually achieve the goal. We believe we should be focusing on technology and working with major industry to reduce emissions. We think they’re going in the wrong direction,” Smith concluded.

In a follow-up, Lavoie asked Smith if she believed Guilbeault would work in partnership with the province’s leadership. Lavoie couldn’t finish her question before Smith responded with a confident “no.”

On whether Guilbeault should resign, Smith said:

I think he should — I’ve been asking for some time. I tried. I tried in good faith to work with Steven Guilbeault, but he’s an ideologue, and he is not changing direction.

What he does is he talks to the provinces as a box-checking exercise to say he has consulted, and he has no interest in working in the spirit of collaborative federalism, despite losing twice with the Impact Assessment Act which admonished the federal government to stay in their own lane and the federal plastics being declared toxic, which they said was not only an overreach, but also a violation of the Constitution.

He keeps losing in court, he is not a good-faith partner at the cabinet table. When he goes to international conferences, he gives surprise announcements that he doesn’t talk to us about that impact on our area of jurisdiction.

Smith concluded her answer by saying that if Trudeau were serious about fixing his relationship with the premiers and with Alberta in particular, a new partner was needed. “We need a new environment minister,” she said.

A non-binding Conservative motion passed 173-150 the House of Commons on Wednesday, urging Trudeau to discuss the most recent carbon tax increase with premiers by mid-May.

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