New Brunswick's Liberal Premier Brian Gallant was one of Justin Trudeau's most vocal advocates in favour of a carbon tax. But even that hasn't stopped him from realizing the political consequences he may face by punishing New Brunswick taxpayers and voters with this racket.
Gallant traveled with the Trudeau delegation to the Paris Accord summit in 2015. At the time his position was that a carbon tax would have to be "revenue neutral." Click here.
By December 2017, Gallant's position changed as the New Brunswick government announced that New Brunswickers would not pay a "direct" carbon tax. The government announced instead that a portion of the existing gas and fuel taxes will be "repurposed."
In other words, the Gallant government announced they already had a carbon tax - their provincial gas tax.
Of course, Gallant was and is right about the existing carbon tax - a brilliant response to Trudeau's threats.
Unfortunately, at the time Gallant's government opposed a "direct" carbon tax, they unfortunately also announced that they would not oppose Justin Trudeau's federal Liberal government usurping provincial jurisdiction by introducting a carbon tax that would be applied on large industrial emitters in the province like NB Power. This increased cost imposed by the Trudeau Liberal government, would of course be passed on to New Brunswick ratepayers in their electricity bills.
The so-called "experts" didn't waste any time jumping all over the decision of the New Brunswick government, claiming that the existing gas tax could not be called a carbon tax - seemingly arguing instead that Trudeau could both force a carbon tax and stop provincial governments from reducing existing carbon taxes at the same time. A bizarre argument to say the least.
By the summer meeting of the premiers in 2018 hosted by Gallant, he continued backpedaling on his support of a Trudeau carbon tax. Gallant suggested his province could revisit a carbon tax if his province ends up disadvantaged as a result of other provinces taking a hard line against it.
Gallant was provided cover in his opposition to a Trudeau carbon tax when P.E.I. also rejected the idea. Click here to read an opinion column in the Chronicle Herald outlining the same argument.
Following the premiers meeting, Gallant announced that climate change was the greatest "challenge facing humanity," seemingly trying to make up with Trudeau after departing in his support on the matter.