Some environmentalists are unhappy that Nova Scotia’s Environment and Climate Change Minister Tim Halman has led a fundraising campaign for his party which is critical of the carbon tax that Ottawa says will come to the province next summer.
Up to 5,000 members and supporters of Nova Scotia’s Progressive Conservative Party received an email earlier this month, ahead of the federal announcement, in which the MLA for Dartmouth East called on them to join the Houston government’s fight against “Justin Trudeau’s carbon retribution taxes on Nova Scotians.”
In the mail-out, Halman urged members and supporters to sign a petition against a carbon tax for the province, arguing the levy would hurt low- and middle-income families the most.
Halman also asked supporters to help pay for the political struggle.
“Your gift will help us push back the spin and propaganda emanating from Ottawa,” Halman wrote. “Please help us keep fighting for the Nova Scotians with a new donation of $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, or even $1,000 or more today.”
Sierra Club Canada accused Halman of “spreading misinformation” in its four-page mail-out and accompanying petition.
“It’s the kind of thing you’d expect [former U.S. President Donald] Trump, but not by a Canadian government,” said Tynette Deveaux, the organization’s Beyond Coal campaign manager.
Deveaux highlighted Halman’s suggestion that Scots can expect to pay an estimated $2,000 more in 2025, rising to $3,100 by 2030, as a result of the tax on fuels such as petrol, diesel and heating fuel – not to mention discounts. that the federal government is offering to help cushion the blow.
“Clearly the underlying intention here is to provoke,” Deveaux said. “The federal tax, as designed, would offer significant relief to low- and middle-income residents of Nova Scotia.”
Individual Nova Scotians will begin receiving quarterly checks of $124 when the carbon tax goes into effect in July, according to Tuesday’s federal announcement. A family of four will receive nearly $250 by check to offset the impact of the tax.
According to federal officials, 90 percent of the taxes collected will go to Nova Scotians in those discount checks.
Those who will be most hurt, according to Deveaux, are the wealthy of Nova Scotia.
He said Halman should support, not disparage, measures designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“If government leaders, our elected leaders are allowed to make outrageous claims and nobody calls them, and they’re allowed to get away with it and raise money based on those outrageous claims, we’re in trouble — big trouble,” he said. he said she.
The Ecology Action Center in Halifax has also been critical of the partisan effort to use “the climate crisis” to rally support and raise funds.
“I was quite surprised and quite disappointed that the provincial government is still showing opposition to the carbon tax,” said Brenna Walsh, the group’s energy coordinator. “A carbon tax is something that has been cited around the world as a really effective way to reduce emissions.
“Canada’s pricing scheme and the way it’s been set up has been recognized around the world as really strong,” he said.
Working with Ottawa
Like Deveaux, Walsh also said he disagreed with Halman’s assertion that the tax will cost most people in the province more.
“For the vast majority of Nova Scotians, these rebates will be greater than the taxes they’ll pay because of that carbon tax,” Walsh said.
Walsh urged the province to work together, rather than fight, with the federal government to reduce emissions.
“We really don’t have the time to have these political arguments,” he said.
The minister supports the fundraising effort
Halman defended the PC’s fundraising campaign and stood by its open letter to supporters.
“It’s to the point,” she said. “It is consistent with what we have said about the last few months. I confirm the contents of that letter.”
He laughed at the suggestion that the rhetoric he used was Trump-like.
“I don’t think many people would say Tim Halman is like Trump,” he said.
Liberal leader Zach Churchill has said the current government has only itself to blame for the impending carbon tax.
“The PC government and the Premier [Tim] Houston has introduced legislation that is triggering a carbon tax coming to Nova Scotia and now they’re using it as an opportunity to wrangle with the federal government and to try to get money out of their members,” Churchill said. “I think it’s pretty hypocritical.”