Carbon price 'disaster scenarios' aren't based on facts, says Trudeau

The premiers of Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia have criticized the federal government's plan to charge $10 per tonne of carbon starting in 2018

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is aiming to counter the “political torque and misinformation” on the federal government’s controversial carbon-pricing plan.

Trudeau said the government’s challenge is to ensure people understand that the money collected on carbon pollution will flow back to the provinces and territories.

“There are a lot of people that are trying scare tactics and divisive tactics to point out disaster scenarios that have no basis in fact,” he said Friday.

The prime minister made the comments in Medicine Hat, Alta., where he is stumping for Liberal candidate Stan Sakamoto before a byelection called for Oct. 24 following the death of former MP Jim Hillyer.

“What this measure will allow for is for citizens and trading partners and citizens around the world to understand that Canada gets that you don’t build a strong economy without being responsible on the environment,” he said.

Trudeau said lack of leadership on the environment by the previous Conservative government added to Alberta’s economic woes, and that adding a carbon tax will ensure clean-energy jobs for future generations.

The premiers of Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia have criticized the government’s plan to charge $10 per tonne of carbon starting in 2018.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has said she supports the idea of a national price on carbon in principle and that her province will bring in its own carbon tax based on the equivalent of $20 per tonne of carbon emissions on Jan. 1, with an increase to $30 a tonne in 2018.

Alberta’s carbon-tax plan was unveiled earlier this month as part of the provincial budget.

Notley has said she will oppose the federal carbon-tax plan until she sees serious progress on pipelines, which her province needs to gets its oil to tidewater.

On Friday, Trudeau said the federal government’s plan will “make it more possible than it was for the past 10 years to actually get our resources to market, to perhaps build a pipeline to tidewater.”