Poilievre fires back at Eby over his refusal to scrap planned carbon tax hike

CHEK

Federal Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre is firing back at Premier David Eby over his refusal to scrap a planned hike to the carbon tax, telling CHEK News the premier is failing to help British Columbians during an affordability and housing crisis.

“My message to the NDP premier and to Justin Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh is get your hands out of the pockets of British Columbians,” Poilievre said in an interview.

“Let them afford food, gas and heat once again.

“It takes 29 years in Vancouver to save up for a downpayment, food bank use is at record highs, we have tent cities right across Vancouver Island because people can’t afford to pay their rent — and Justin Trudeau and the NDP think now is the time to hike people’s taxes by 23 per cent. It’s insane.”

Poilievre released new attack ads against Eby’s carbon tax position on Sunday, after Eby mocked his open letter Friday urging B.C. to use its discretion and refuse to administer a 23 per cent increase to the carbon tax on April 1.

Eby said such a move would mean British Columbians would not get their promised climate rebate cheques, and accused Poilievre of misconstruing the situation.

“I don’t live in the Pierre Poilievre campaign office and baloney factory,” Eby said Friday.

“I live in B.C., am the premier, and decisions have consequences. The fact we face is that if we followed Mr. Poilievre’s suggestion there would be less money returned to British Columbians after April 1 than there would be if the federal government administered this increase directly.”

That brought a sharp retort from Poilievre.

“Well under NDP premier Eby and Justin Trudeau, many British Columbians are forced to eat bologna because they can’t afford anything else,” he said.

Poilievre is in the middle of a national ‘axe the tax’ campaign tour. Seven other premiers — from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island — are aligned with his position to halt the carbon tax increase. Poilievre has promised to end the tax entirely if elected.

B.C. was the first province in Canada to create a carbon tax in 2008. It still retains provincial control of the tax, though it has agreed to follow a schedule of increases set by Ottawa.

Eby increasingly as an outlier on the national stage with his defence of the carbon tax during a worsening affordability crisis.

The B.C. NDP government argues that the forecast revenue from the carbon tax and its new output based carbon pricing system will be $649 million by 2025, but it will be paying out $876 million in climate action tax credits.

However, the current tax credit program only applies to low-income British Columbians. The maximum amount of $447 is only available to people who earn less than $39,115, with a sliding scale of eligibility that ends entirely once a person earns $61,465.

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