Pallister Pulls a Doug Ford on Climate Change
The Manitoba Legislative Assembly resumed session this week to an unexpected policy flip flop from Brian Pallister. He has hastily reversed his plan to bring in a carbon tax, scrapping two years of government planning and causing enormous uncertainty for Manitoba families and businesses.
Your NDP Caucus has been critical of Pallister’s so called carbon plan since it was announced. His plan did nothing to keep life affordable for families or help them make green choices. It raised the price of gas and heating for regular families while letting the largest polluters off the hook. It failed to invest in programs that helped families retro-fit their home, electric vehicles or invest in solar power.
The true test of an effective and progressive carbon tax is what the government does with the revenue that will make it easier for Manitobans to live a greener lifestyle. The Pallister government’s plan failed that test.
Pallister campaigned on and promised a carbon tax in the 2016 election. He has built his entire climate change plan, and the legislation that accompanies it, on the carbon tax. Now, that plan is virtually meaningless. Manitobans may still be forced to pay a federal tax while any green initiatives to fight climate change have been jeopardized.
At the end of the day, Pallister flip-flopped. He blames Prime Minister Trudeau, but Pallister is cozying up to right-wing leaders like Doug Ford in Ontario and Jason Kenney in Alberta who have led the charge against the federal carbon tax.
So instead of standing up for the environment, he chose to stand next to his ultra-conservative friends.
This behavior is an abdication of the Premier’s leadership on the environment. Instead of protecting future generations the Premier is putting his own political aspirations first. He has made it clear that when it comes to saving the environment or saving his own political career, he will choose himself every time.
Your NDP will continue to stand up for a progressive green plan that protects our environment while keeping life affordable for families.
- Wab Kinew