Prince Edward Island's Liberal provincial government is led by premier Wade MacLauchlan.
Back in December of 2016, MacLauchlin said that P.E.I. would introduce a carbon tax that would be "made-in-P.E.I. and made-for-P.E.I."
At that time, MacLauchlin signed on to Justin Trudeau's "Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change," described the federal plan as a "national commitment on pricing carbon pollution," adding that "Prince Edward Island will do its part in this."
MacLauchlin promised a carbon tax in P.E.I. by January 2018.
But now, P.E.I.'s Environment Minister Richard Brown has said P.E.I. will not accept Trudeau's mandatory carbon tax and will instead be "fighting for Islanders" on the issue.
Brown went on to add, "if [Ottawa] want[s] to impose a tax at this point in time, they can impose their tax...That's their choice."
That's a Liberal provincial government opposing Justin Trudeau's carbon tax plan.
Brown defended the decision by stating that he doesn't understand how charging Islanders a price on carbon, then returning the revenues directly to them will help the environment.
"All you're doing is creating a big administrative item here. If everybody is going to get all their tax dollars back … how is that going to affect carbon pricing?"
Brown is right, of course. The government's own estimates show that by 2022, the average annual cost of a carbon tax on families living in P.E.I. would be at least $788.
Instead, the MacLauchlin government decided that it would implement a carbon tax on industrial emitters only - a move that impacts one business in the province, Cavendish Farms. While sparing individual taxpayers, the decision still hurts industry in the province and consumers by driving up the cost of production.
Of course, the "experts" didn't take long to weigh in, stating that the P.E.I. plan would be rejected by Trudeau's federal government that has shown it has no respect for provincial jurisdiction on this matter.
It is great to see a Liberal government in the province of P.E.I. reject raising taxes on behalf of Justin Trudeau. But we are also cautious of the MacLauchlin government. Until now, MacLauchlin had made every suggestion that his government would welcome a carbon tax and P.E.I. has yet to join Ontario and Saskatchewan in defending their provincial jurisdiction in court. It raises questions as to whether the P.E.I. Liberal government's decision is temporary (until they get past their next provincial election in October of 2019) or whether they simply want Justin Trudeau to do their dirty work (of raising taxes) for them and won't put up a fight defending provincial jurisdiction or defending their taxpayers).
Some even suggested the P.E.I. decision could be the "straw that broke the back" of Trudeau's carbon tax. Click here to read.