Trudeau Undermines Carbon Tax with Atlantic Favouritism
Much has been made about Justin Trudeau's exemption of heating oil under his carbon tax. Conservative commentators have speculated that this is a plot to save sinking polling numbers and in response to internal pressure from Atlantic MPs. Conservative, NDP, Maverick, PPC, and western provincial leaders were quick to express frustration and disappointment at the move.
The firestorm that has ignited even drove the NDP to pledge their support to a Conservative Party motion to apply the exemption to any heating source. Source. Here's the problem: the motion is non-binding. The federal NDP are crying foul and there is still a possibility that this move jeopardizes the supply and confidence agreement, but it is unlikely to trigger an early election for two reasons. First, (and with some speculation) the rumour is that the federal NDP do not have the financial ability to contest a general election at this moment. Not to worry for them, though, since public sector unions and environmental and equity organizations usually pick up the slack with third-party advertising. The second is that a snap election called at any point starting today would likely mean a December vote. Traditional wisdom says that elections held in the winter months - and especially right before Christmas - will depress turnout. That theory has been untested for some time, but I cannot imagine that being substantially less true today than in the past.
The regional favouritism is further evidence that Maverick is needed.
The Conservative motion is non-binding and represents political show and theatre. It remains to be seen if the Conservatives intend to introduce a no-confidence motion. Maverick would not hesitate on the matter. This issue has caused the West to lose confidence - not that it had much to begin with - in the Liberal government. It would force the NDP to get off the fence and decide if they intend on continuing to prop up Trudeau. It would also force the Conservative Party to decide if they want to whip their vote or have their Quebec and Ontario MPs save their seats with a free vote. It would show the true colours of many involved. For Maverick, it is of no concern. When you stand for principled defence of the western provinces, then Maverick MP votes on a confidence motion would be predictable and without controversy. For the record, the West is asking not for favouritism of its own; merely fairness.
Tim is currently studying law at the University of Saskatchewan. He sits on the Maverick Board of Directors representing Saskatchewan. Feature image was generated using Bing AI.