PM boasts of national climate change agreement, but without Saskatchewan - InfoNews

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PM boasts of national climate change agreement, but without Saskatchewan

B.C. Premier Christy Clark arrives to take part in the Meeting of First Ministers and National Indigenous Leaders in Ottawa on Friday, Dec. 9, 2016.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
December 09, 2016 - 8:00 PM

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is claiming victory in his campaign to craft a national "framework" agreement on climate change — even though Saskatchewan and Manitoba remains provincial holdouts.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall's full-throated opposition to the plan, which includes imposing a price on carbon, was fully expected going into today's day-long first ministers meeting.

But surprise resistance from British Columbia's Christy Clark and Manitoba's Brian Pallister threatened throughout the day to upset Trudeau's hopes for a triumphant finale to a year of federal-provincial climate negotiations.

A last-minute addition to the agreement appeared to bring Clark on side, with Wall the only premier not on board. Pallister also did not sign but left the door open to signing later on.

The sticking point for all three premiers was Trudeau's plan to set a national price on carbon — starting at $10 a tonne in 2018 and rising to $50 a tonne by 2022 — and impose it on provinces that do not implement their own carbon pricing plan.

Wall is ideologically opposed to the idea of a carbon tax; B.C. already has a carbon tax but Clark wanted — and got — assurances that Ontario and Quebec's cap-and-trade carbon market would impose an equivalent carbon price.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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