The federal government’s commitment to having Canadians pay a price for pollution is growing weaker by the month.
First it was the federal decision to allow a carve-out for home heating oil in Atlantic Canada and now it is the deafening silence from Rideau Cottage on Manitoba’s decision to drop its gas tax.
In theory, a government committed to discouraging the use of fossil fuels by making them more expensive would be upset that a newly-minted, progressive-minded government in one of its provinces chose to do the exact opposite and make gasoline cheaper. But that has not been the case – Ottawa and its vocal Environment minister have been remarkably silent on the development and they’ve had the better part of a month to say something about it.
It is also ironic that Manitoba is big recipient of equalization – to the tune of $4 billion – so effectively it is taking monies contributed into equalization from oil producers such as Alberta and Saskatchewan to subsidize drivers in a so-called Have Not province … casting further doubt on any notion that carbon pricing is actually an environmental policy.