Mark Carney says carbon tax has served a purpose 'until now' and should be replaced with a 'better solution'

Carney said that any new climate policy should be better and more effective than the current iteration, and also be able to bring in investment.

Mark Carney says carbon tax has served a purpose 'until now' and should be replaced with a 'better solution'
AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, FILE
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Former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney spoke to the Senate on Wednesday, where he said that the federal carbon tax has "served a purpose up until now," calling on anyone who wanted to do away with it to come up with a "credible and predictable alternative."

Carney, who serves as the United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance, was invited to examine Bill S-243, which aims to mandate banks and other federally regulated entities to “mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change.”

However, Conservative senators looked to question him extensively within what limited time they had, with the committee starting late due to votes. This led to some tense exchanges, particularly regarding the federal government's carbon pricing policy and overall spending.

One senator, Leo Housakos, called on Carney to declare whether or not he supported the Trudeau carbon tax, but he did not answer directly.

Instead, he would tell Yonah Martin, “I think it has served a purpose up until now. I think one can always look for better solutions and as a country, we should always be open to better solutions.”

Carney said that any new climate policy should be better and more effective than the current iteration, and also be able to bring in investment.

“What’s critical in my view… is that if something is going to be changed, that something at least as good is put in its place. Ideally, if you’re going to change something, you put in place something better that still has that credibility and predictability,” he responded, according to the National Post.

“Because we’re in a position right now where we need $2 trillion of investments at the core of our economy in the next 25 years.”

Carney was also quick to walk back previous criticisms of the Trudeau Liberals' budget and history of spending. Last month during a speech, Carney said that governments who "spend too much and invest too little will eventually pay a heavy price."

“You’ve… said that the Liberal government is spending too much and that you weren’t at the risk of constant spending. So, I’m taking this opportunity to ask what Liberal government programs and spending would you cut?” asked Martin.

Carney shot back: “You read something into the record which is not a quote of something that I have said. So, if you’re going to say I have said something, could you make sure that the quote is correct?”

In recent weeks, Carney has become a focal point for Conservative criticism, with Pierre Poilievre dubbing him "Carbon Tax Carney," while he and his MPs persistently portray the banker as a prospective leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Carney has dismissed rumours of him taking on the role of leader for the Liberals heading into the next federal election, telling CTV that he supports Trudeau, who he believes will be "leader of the Liberal Party in the next election."

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