P.E.I. premier Dennis King describes negotiations with Ottawa over carbon pricing as “irritating,” as he tries to get an extension to an exemption on the tax on house heating oil.
These feedback had been made throughout a fiery alternate within the provincial legislature Thursday between the premier and Opposition chief Peter Bevan-Baker.
Bevan-Baker pushed the premier to launch his newest plan, a plan submitted to Ottawa again in September.
King accused the Inexperienced Celebration chief of attempting to push up the worth of house heating oil, already at document highs.
“We’re attempting to barter with a irritating federal authorities, who will not give Islanders a break. We’ll struggle to present them a break,” King mentioned throughout query interval.
“And I am going to let you know what, if it takes my authorities down, it will take my authorities down. I am not going to present in to this chief over right here who thinks house heating gasoline just isn’t excessive sufficient. Go ask any Islander, it is via the roof.”
‘They do not find the money for’
Bevan-Baker mentioned the province is attempting to make the argument that they will both handle the price of residing disaster or cope with the local weather emergency. He mentioned they will — and should — do each.
“So, Islanders are ravenous and freezing as a result of they do not find the money for, they usually do not find the money for as a result of this authorities continues to refuse to present them again the complete rebate for the carbon tax from Ottawa,” mentioned Bevan-Baker.
The province makes use of loads of what it collects now from its carbon tax on fuel, at the moment at 11 cents per litre, to assist Islanders transition to renewable vitality, like electrical vehicles and warmth pumps.
Some Islanders can even see a refund from a carbon pricing rebate, as much as about $140 per yr, relying on family revenue. However that is considerably lower than in different provinces.
The Inexperienced Celebration desires all of that cash returned to Islanders.
‘Freeze to demise in their very own houses’
King mentioned the province collects $34 million in carbon taxes and rebated $70 million final yr, via direct rebates and applications just like the free warmth pump program.
Atmosphere Minister Steven Myers mentioned P.E.I.’s plan will cut back carbon, whereas ensuring Islanders do not “freeze to demise in their very own houses.”
Inexperienced MLA Hannah Bell mentioned: “Folks need to find the money for to purchase meals for his or her household and you’re denying that to them.”
She added, “This authorities is denying folks cash that they need to have to purchase what they want.”
The province unveiled its carbon costs plan this spring. That pushed fuel costs up one other 4 cents per litre
However house heating oil was not included — for a one-year interval. That exemption is up in April 2023.
‘We’ve not agreed on a brand new plan’
The province says almost three-quarters of Islanders nonetheless depend on oil, so they need that exemption prolonged.
Up to now, the federal authorities has refused.
If the carbon tax is added, it’ll add one other 16 cents per litre on the worth of house heating, as of April 1.
House heating oil is now $1.88 per litre.
King mentioned he isn’t going to launch his newest carbon pricing plan as a result of the province remains to be in negotiations with Ottawa
“We’ve not agreed on a brand new plan but,” mentioned King.
“We’re asking the federal authorities to proceed to rebate house heating gasoline for individuals who are unfairly punished for burning house heating gasoline after they have no different choices right here.”