Nova Scotia ends carbon tax speculation

HALIFAX — It might still be a few months away, but Nova Scotia’s plan to save the environment won’t be done with a carbon tax.

The Maritime province will officially unveil a climate action plan in the fall and while Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonald is mum about what it will contain, he’s adamant it will not involve a carbon tax.

"I’m not a fan of carbon tax. We will not be introducing a carbon tax as suggested (by Liberals) at the national level," the Canadian Press reported MacDonald saying. "In Nova Scotia there is a high reliance on fossil fuel and we would be hurting Nova Scotians – individuals who are trying to heat their homes this winter – if we move in that regard."

The idea of a carbon tax has been hotly debated recently on Canada’s east coast. After B.C. became the first jurisdiction in Canada to implement a carbon tax, the federal Liberal Party ushered out an environmental platform which called for a national carbon tax.

The idea of a carbon tax has been largely unpopular in the trucking community. The B.C. Trucking Association has long said the “revenue neutral” carbon tax will disproportionately affect the trucking industry due to their need to use large amounts of diesel fuel.

On the east coast, the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association has picked up a similar lobbying stance.

“Dion’s carbon tax proposal will further cripple an economy that is already struggling on the global markets. Atlantic Canada’s economy depends upon the success of our transportation, agriculture, forestry, mining, energy and fisheries industries,” explained Peter Nelson, executive director of the APTA, to the Atlantic Federal Liberal Caucus.

The APTA along with other groups opposed to carbon taxation have been campaigning to the different provincial governments in the region to find alternative environmental measures to carbon tax.

So far, Nova Scotia is the first province to actually denounce a carbon tax system. The province also revealed it’s not in favor of a cap-and-trade system either, but is confident a solution is possible to meet the province’s target of a greenhouse gas reduction of 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

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