Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna
Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna

The Canadian Press reports that Canada’s environment Minister Catherine McKenna said the federal government is prepared to impose a price on carbon on any province that can’t come up with their own, or a cap and trade system.

Adding that the federal government will stick to the existing targets for reducing carbon emissions, set by the previous Conservative government.

The report noted that the minister’s comments sparked the ire of at least one premier, Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall.

She made these comments while speaking to CTV’s Question Period host, two days after The Canadian Press reported that the Liberals would ratify the international Paris climate accord this fall even before they reach a deal with the provinces and territories on how to meet the country’s 2030 emissions target.

The Conservatives said they would reduce carbon emissions 17 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020 and 30 per cent by 2030.

The Liberal government has won international accolades for picking up the climate change baton, with Trudeau and McKenna receiving praise for helping reach the Paris climate change agreement come to fruition last fall.

McKenna made clear during the interview with CTV, that the federal government will do what it takes to move forward.

“That means that we would have a system that would be imposed, yes,” she said. “I’m not trying to do that. We’re trying to go forward in a way that we’re working with everyone.”

Wall said Saskatchewan already has a price on carbon, and any further action by Ottawa could hurt Western provinces already under stress because of falling oil prices.

“If it’s some sort of a universal price that will, you know, manifest itself as a tax, and be disproportionately impacting the energy sector, which is already reeling, then we have a big problem in Saskatchewan with that kind of unilateral action.”

H/T: The Canadian Press

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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