Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there will be no further carbon price carve-outs, including for natural gas heating, as criticism mounts of his decision to temporarily exempt home heating oil from the policy.
The promise is landing with a political thud, with both Conservative and NDP leaders accusing Trudeau of regional favouritism to save his political skin in Atlantic Canada, and former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney saying he would have found a different way to ease the rising cost of living.
Trudeau and multiple ministers, including those in charge of environment and energy, are defending the three-year home heating oil exemption today as a policy intended to ensure that Canadians who use the fuel have the time and money needed to transition to electric heat pumps.
They also say that home heating oil users are more likely to have lower incomes and live in rural areas without any other options for heating their homes.
The Liberals are feeling intense heat after Rural Development Minister Gudie Hutchings implied on CTV Question Period on Sunday that Prairies provinces should elect more Liberals if they want their voices heard on the need for carbon pricing relief.
Housing Minister and Nova Scotia MP Sean Fraser says this carbon price pause is not about politics and that many policies affect different regions of the country differently.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 31, 2023.