Liberals Call for Action Amid Houston's Carbon Tax
June 14, 2023 – (Halifax, NS)
On July 1, Nova Scotians will be hit with a 14 cent increase at the gas pumps thanks to the Houston government scrapping cap-and-trade and triggering a carbon tax – a program that will do less for the environment while costing Nova Scotians more.
The carbon tax comes at a time when Nova Scotians are facing dramatic increases on basic necessities like housing, groceries, and power rates. Now, they will be expected to shoulder more costs with increases on gas and home heating.
“Increasing gas and home heating costs is not what Nova Scotians need right now, but the Houston government chose to play political games instead of showing leadership and negotiating a better alternative,” said Opposition Leader Zach Churchill. “The generational affordability crisis we are dealing with requires bold solutions to keep more money in Nova Scotians' pockets. That’s why we have called on the Houston government to implement affordability measures like, immediately freezing the provincial gas tax, ending income tax bracket creep and implementing a universal school lunch program – all of which the Houston government refuses to do.”
Nova Scotia will face the steepest increase in the country on July 1 because the province previously benefited from the cap-and-trade program which only charged 1 cent per litre while raising nearly $100 million for a dedicated green fund to fight climate change.
Negotiating new terms of the cap-and-trade program that expired under the Houston government would have put a gradual price on pollution while continuing to support the green fund. Houston’s carbon tax will do neither.
“We’re seeing the impacts of climate change right here at home with severe hurricanes and wildfires. Putting a price on pollution is the law, and it’s the right thing to do. But when the Houston government abdicated their responsibility and refused to negotiate on behalf of Nova Scotians, they left us with a program that will do less for the environment, and cost people more,” said Environment and Climate Change shadow minister Iain Rankin.