The Current

Trudeau's 'unilateralism' raises regional tensions

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a bold strategy for dealing with provinces: We're doing it my way, like it or not. Observers say he's walking a fine line and could risk alienating provinces and rekindling old hostilities.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's unilateralism risks alienating provinces, say political observers. (CBC)

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Some political observers say Prime Minister Justin Trudeau risks alienating the provinces with his government's heavy-handed approach to fighting climate change.

On Monday, the prime minister promised to impose a national minimum carbon price if the provinces fail to act first. The government proposed the price on carbon pollution should start at a minimum of $10 per tonne in 2018, rising by $10 each year to $50 per tonne in 2022.

Trudeau went on to say that if provinces do not enact either a carbon price or cap-and-trade system by 2018, "the government of Canada would implement a price in that jurisdiction."

Is Canada entering a new era of blooming regional animosities? (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press )

That announcement caused environment ministers from Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador to walk out of a meeting with other provinces and their federal counterpart.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall described the plan as unilateral and disrespectful, while in Question Period this week, Conservative environment critic Ed Fast said, "The prime minister is running roughshod over the provinces and territories."

The Current discusses the present political climate with respect to the environment, and how likely it is to re-ignite old hostilities.

Listen to the full conversation at the top of this web post.

This segment was produced by The Current's Kristin Nelson.