The New Democratic Party released their plan to fight climate change today, detailing numerous measures they would take to reduce Canada’s share of global emissions.
While we applaud the NDP for developing a plan consistent with meeting our international obligations, we maintain that the best, most cost-effective way to achieve those obligations is through a steadily rising tax on carbon pollution, with all the money rebated back to families and businesses. A carbon tax and rebate is a fair, affordable and effective way to address climate change.
We are glad to see that the NDP is committed to maintaining the federal carbon tax and rebate system, but that commitment seems to be tangential to their plan rather than a core element. Instead, the plan relies heavily on regulatory mechanisms which are both more complex and more costly.
We are disappointed to see the NDP continue to misunderstand the purpose of the Federal Government’s plan to tackle industrial emissions. The Federal Government’s plan does not provide breaks to industrial emitters. Instead, industrial emitters are charged a carbon tax and receive a partial rebate. The purpose of the large emitter program, or Output-Based Pricing System, is to protect Canadian jobs. If carbon pricing led to firms shutting down in Canada and moving overseas, everyone would lose. Emissions would not go down and Canada would lose jobs. The OBPS avoids this outcome. It is a smartly designed program that still makes industrial emitters pay. In fact, provinces like Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario have all proposed similar systems. We hope the NDP will reconsider their stance.