Poilievre pushing non-confidence vote over carbon tax hike

'If Trudeau does not declare today an end to his forthcoming tax increases on food, gas and heat, that we will introduce a motion of non-confidence in the prime minister,' the Conservative leader said.

Poilievre pushing non-confidence vote over carbon tax hike
The Canadian Press / Sean Kilpatrick
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If Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won't freeze the upcoming carbon tax increase, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre says he will introduce a non-confidence vote on Wednesday.

Poilievre's threat to topple the Trudeau government comes as the federal carbon tax is set to rise 23% on April 1.

“Today I am announcing that I'm giving Trudeau one last chance to spike his hike, one last chance, and only one more day,” the Conservative leader told to the party's national caucus in Ottawa.

“If Trudeau does not declare, today, an end to his forthcoming tax increases on food, gas and heat,” Poilievre said the Conservatives “will introduce a motion of non-confidence in the prime minister.”

Poilievre said people are struggling to “eat, heat and house themselves,” and called for an election to be held so Canadians “can vote in a carbon tax election.”

The motion is likely to fail, however, given the Liberals' minority government is propped up by an agreement with the New Democrats, who are also strong supporters of the carbon tax.

The carbon scheme will see the tax rise from where it currently sits — $65 per tonne — on April 1 before eventually rising to $170 per tonne by 2030, an increase that even the state broadcaster acknowledges will add nearly 40 cents per litre to the price of gas.

The carbon tax was a contentious issue during Canada's 2019 federal election, when then-environment minister Catherine McKenna said the Liberals' price per tonne would not increase after a 2022's rise to $50 per tonne.

“The plan is not to increase the price post-2022,” McKenna definitively said in 2019, as reported by the National Post. Serving as a Conservative MP at the time, Poilievre fired back at McKenna. 

“She admitted that if re-elected the carbon tax would go much higher than Liberals previously said,” Poilievre responded, per CTV News.

Ultimately, the Liberals did increase the tax in efforts to comply with the goals laid in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which the organization itself describes as “lofty but specific.”

Ahead of the April 1 increase, premiers from across Canada have spoken out about the harm this will cause. Last week, several premiers, including the Liberal premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Andrew Furey, called on Trudeau to pause the carbon tax hike.

 “After years of increasing living costs, there is a need to fully grasp and address the magnitude inflation's effects on citizens, particularly those most in need,” Furey wrote to Trudeau.

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