The House

Manitoba ready for a fight on the carbon plan

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister is still considering taking the federal government to court as the fight over their national carbon price plan.
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says he is pulling his plan to levy a carbon tax and is joining a number of provinces opposed to the federal government's climate plan demands. (John Woods/Canadian Press)
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Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister is still considering taking the federal government to court as the fight over their national carbon price plan.

This week the Manitoba government announced it will no longer willingly impose a carbon tax on its citizens.  

Ottawa has ordered the provinces to introduce a tax of $10 per tonne this year, and increase that amount by $10 each year until it reaches $50 in 2022. Pallister had proposed a flat rate of $25 per tonne for this year, but the Trudeau government has said it would impose its price on any province that doesn't match their targets.

"If the [federal] threat is hanging over us I have a choice, right, I can introduce a flat and low carbon price like the Prairie Horizon and then they'll fight me in a year and they'll raise it. I can fight them in a year or I can fight them now," Pallister told CBC's Chris Hall.

"I can't have this uncertainty repelling private sector capital investment in my province."

When asked about their plan to take Manitoba's case to court Pallister said they'll "cross that bridge when we come to it."

Saskatchewan and Ontario have raised questions about whether the plan is unconstitutional.

"We think we have a better case, with all due respect to my provincial colleagues right, I think we have a better case to make," he said.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc called Pallister's move a "flip flop" on the carbon tax.

Still, Pallister says his overall relationship with the federal Liberals isn't frayed.

"I think our relationship on numerous other files has grown in its strength. I do not distrust the prime minister," he said.

"The priorities are not the same as ours and when they are not, two thinking people are going to disagree and we disagree.