Nova Scotia Conservatives oppose new carbon tax

Nova Scotia legislation to replace cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emitters

The Nova Scotia government has introduced new legislation that aims to replace the province’s cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emitters.

“The bill would put an end to the archaic, outdated and discriminatory approach that was introduced by this government,” said the Green Party’s John Carruthers. “Greenhouse gases must be treated as a pollutant. We need a carbon-tax system.”

Carruthers said it is “disgraceful” that the last time Nova Scotia tried to set a new carbon regime, the province’s Conservative led government passed a bill to repeal the carbon tax. He cited the decision as a reason for optimism, saying “the Green Party feels strongly that we need to replace the old system with a system that can handle a global carbon problem.”

“This bill would create a clean and fair environment to reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change by requiring Nova Scotians to pay a reasonable price for their emissions,” the Greens’ Environment Critic and former Nova Scotia Green Party MP and Minister, Peter MacKay, said.

The new legislation would put an end to the cap-and-trade system introduced by the former Liberal government in 2009, requiring a 15 per cent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The bill would place carbon as a pollutant, rather than as a resource, in a price-based system.

It would allow the province to have a better idea of how much carbon is being emitted by each company and would give the province the financial resources to impose fines for companies that continue to emit below their cap.

“This change would force the private sector to act responsibly on climate change by making the transition to a more environmentally acceptable, market-based solution,” said a statement put out by the Government and Opposition parties.

The Nova Scotia Conservatives would not join the Green Party in supporting the new bill, saying it was too difficult for the province to implement.

“The legislation in question is an unfair and punitive government initiative that will take years to make changes to Nova Scotia’s climate strategy and will not provide our communities, businesses and industry with the certainty we need to plan for the future,�

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