EDMONTON – Erin O’Toole on Saturday acknowledged a sentiment that has long been simmering in Conservative circles: The Tory leader’s carbon pricing agenda is not universally liked by party loyalists.
As part of the plan, unveiled in April as a carbon pricing loyalty card, consumers would see what they pay on fuel stored in an account that can be used later for green purchases.
“He sets the price on carbon and I get questions about it and some people are frustrated about it, but it shows my commitment,” O’Toole said.
The comment came a day after he was confronted with the plan by a supporter who quoted “a lot of pissed off farmers” at a Conservative rally next to a thoroughbred race track in Saskatoon.
“By the time I finished this conversation, they got it,” O’Toole told reporters during a campaign stop in Edmonton.
Dubbed the “low-carbon personal savings account,” the attempt to replace the liberal carbon tax is a signature policy of the party’s new climate change plan.
The regime of paying a price on greenhouse gas emissions marked a major shift for the party, which had long campaigned for the abandonment of the program put in place by the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau.
O’Toole, party leader elected last August, had promised to work out a climate plan to cut emissions for the Conservatives ahead of the next general election, now set for September 20.
The program, announced on April 15, came less than a month after delegates voted against a resolution at the Conservatives’ political convention that would have enshrined “climate change is real” in party policy.
“I made it clear why climate change is important to me, not just as a politician. I talk about climate change with my daughter Mollie, who is 15 years old. And we have to meet our emissions targets as a country, ”O’Toole said.
“My plan will meet our commitments in Paris, but deliver jobs and investments far better than Trudeau’s ever-increasing carbon tax.” “
The liberal plan – applicable only in provinces that do not have their own approved carbon pricing system – sets the price at $ 40 per tonne, increasing every year until it reaches $ 170 per tonne by now 2030. The stated goal is to reduce emissions by at least 40% from 2005 levels by 2030.
Ottawa’s plan could raise prices at the pump by nearly 28% over a decade, officials said in December.
O’Toole’s alternative, although it features prominently in its rig, barely deserved a mention at a rally in Delta, B.C. on Saturday night.
Lying amid the cornfields and pumpkins of Delta, B.C., the event took place in a salvaged barn used as a community venue, where O’Toole sought to link inflation and sky-high housing prices to the Trudeau government.
Earlier today, the Conservative event in Edmonton saw O’Toole highlight his proposal to increase disability benefits amid a wide range of portfolio issues he presents.
At an Alberta center for people with intellectual disabilities, he pledged to double the annual supplement for low-income Canadians living with a disability to $ 1,500, affecting about 90,000 people.
The increase comes with a promised further increase in a refundable tax credit for all low-income workers in the Conservative platform unveiled on Monday, capping the Canada workers benefit at $ 2,800 for workers. individuals or $ 5,000 for families. Payments would also be provided as direct deposits each quarter rather than as a tax refund at the end of a year.
O’Toole added that federal and provincial social programs should not punish employment by clawing back relief from Canadian workers, saying he would revise the patchwork of supports for people with disabilities.
“Too often when someone on disability benefits goes to work, it costs them reduced benefits and higher taxes,” O’Toole said.
In their April budget, the Liberals promised to expand supports for people with disabilities under the federal student loan program, helping about 40,000 recipients access up to $ 22,000 in bursaries each. .
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who campaigned in Toronto on Saturday, has broadly pledged to expand income security programs to give Canadians living with disabilities a guaranteed income.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on August 21, 2021.
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