Cross Country Checkup

Is this the right time to put a price on carbon?

Prime Minister Trudeau shocked the premiers this week by announcing a price on carbon ...something no prime minister has dared in the 20 years since Kyoto. Some say it's the National Energy Program all over again. Others say it's about time. What do you think?
Seagulls on Hamilton Bay, Lake Ontario, Ontario, Canada (Janusz Wrobel/Getty Images)
Listen to the full episode1:53:00

Prime Minister Trudeau shocked the premiers this week by announcing a price on carbon ...something no prime minister has dared in the 20 years since Kyoto. Some say it's the National Energy Program all over again. Others say it's about time. What do you think?

This week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood up in the House of Commons and said it's time to take action on climate change, by putting a price on carbon emissionswhether the provinces like it or not.

The tough-talking prime minister promised to impose a national minimum carbon price by 2018, and that levy will keep growing. The news drove three environment ministers to storm out of federal-provincial climate talks and the dust hasn't settled yet.

Saskatchewan's premier called the plan "a betrayal" and is looking into a legal challenge. Alberta's premier said her province won't co-operate unless Ottawa approves a pipeline that can bring bitumen to ocean ports… Nova Scotia's premier said his province has already met federal emissions targets and doesn't need a carbon tax.

Some say it's the National Energy Program all over again. Others say it's not enough… that the proposed price on carbon needs to be much higher, if Canada is going to keep its commitment in the Paris Climate Accord and to slow the rise in global temperatures.

Our question: "Is this the right time to put a price on carbon?"

Guests

Jonathan Wilkinson, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change  and Liberal MP for Vancouver North.     
Twitter: @JonathanWNV

Ed Fast, Official Opposition critic for Environment and Climate Change and Conservative MP for Abbotsford, B.C., and former Minister for International Trade 
Twitter: @HonEdFast

Tom MulcairLeader of the New Democratic Party
Twitter: @ThomasMulcair

Mark Jaccard, Energy Economist and professor of sustainable energy in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser Univ.
Twitter: @MarkJaccard

Links & Articles

CBC.ca

National Post

Globe and Mail

Ecofiscal Commission Reports

The Telegram

Winnipeg Free Press

Edmonton Journal

Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Regina Leader-Post

Toronto Star

Institute for Research on Public Policy