The House

No federal carbon price break for Atlantic provinces

With the national price on carbon looming, the premiers of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have been arguing their emissions reduction contributions should afford them some flexibility in their respective provincial plans, but Catherine McKenna disagrees.

Catherine McKenna says provinces won't get a better deal because they've already met targets

The federal government will undertake extensive industry and public consultation before introducing a price on carbon. (CBC)

Atlantic provinces already meeting their emissions reduction goals won't get a break in the upcoming the carbon tax plan.

Catherine McKenna drove that message home when she outlined the next steps for Canadian carbon pricing on The House.

With the national price on carbon looming, the premiers of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have been arguing their emissions reduction contributions should afford them some flexibility in their respective provincial plans.

McKenna, however, won't budge.

"We have been very clear on the standard we expect and we will be reviewing everyone's system to ensure that it meets that standard," she said.

Both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have led the country in working to meet the emissions targets — namely, reducing 2005 emissions levels by 30 per cent by the year 2030.

"We really think we are going to be able to demonstrate we are hitting our emissions targets for 2030," Brian Gallant, New Brunswick's premier, told CBC News in December.

Persuading the environment minister to accept his current take on the carbon plan will be quite the task, as McKenna has already said the proposed system wouldn't meet Ottawa's requirements.

Similarly, Nova Scotia is set to release their new cap-and-trade system, but it's not clear yet if it will line up with the federal plan. 

As the September 2018 deadline for provincial plans looms, McKenna has maintained she is prepared to intervene if any province fails to mirror the government's plan.

Environment minister Catherine McKenna outlined this week what could happen if provinces fail to put a price on carbon... and not everyone is pleased with Ottawa's approach. The minister joins us. 8:45

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