OTTAWA, Oct. 4 — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said here Monday that his government wanted all provinces and territories in the country to implement carbon tax plan by 2018.
Trudeau made the announcement in leading off parliamentary debate on the Paris climate change agreement Monday.
He said that the proposed price on carbon pollution should start at a minimum of 10 Canadian dollars per ton in 2018, rising by 10 Canadian dollars each year to 50 Canadian dollars per ton by 2022.
If a province or territory doesn't implement a carbon price on its own, the government will implement a price in that jurisdiction because pollution crosses borders, Trudeau said at the House of Commons.
"If neither price nor cap and trade is in place by 2018, the government of Canada will implement a price in that jurisdiction," he said.
Each province can choose between a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system, as well as how to use the revenue generated, he said.
Trudeau said his government isn't obliged to go to the House of Commons for approval before it ratifies an international agreement, but said its important members of parliament have the chance to debate such an important issue.
He said, for any Canadian who lives in an area that experiences extreme weather accompanied by floods, droughts and wildfires, "there is no hiding from climate change. It is real and it is everywhere."
"We cannot undo the last 10 years of inaction," he added. "What we can do is take real effort today and every day to protect the health of our environment and, with it, the health of all Canadians."
The Canadian prime minister insisted the plan will be good for the economy, good for innovation and good for jobs.
Canadian Green Party Leader Elizabeth May praised the Liberal government's "leadership" at last year's climate talks, but said keeping the 2030 target set by the previous Conservative government under former Prime Minister Stephen Harper was "irreconcilable" with the commitments made there.
"With the deepest of regret, how can Trudeau reconcile adopting the Paris agreement while accepting the Harper target which will make achieving Paris impossible? These are irreconcilable and incompatible targets," May said.
Canadian Conservative Party's environment critic Ed Fast accused the Liberals of ignoring their promise to work collaboratively with the provinces, pointing to complaints from Quebec's environment minister.
"Why is he using a sledgehammer to force the provinces and territories to accept a carbon tax grab?" Fast said.
Canadian lawmakers are expected to vote Wednesday on whether to ratify the Paris agreement. (PNA/Xinhua)