'It is going to hurt Islanders,' says Darlene Compton on carbon tax

Darlene Compton, MLA for Belfast-Murray River, questioned Finance Minister Allen Roach about government’s plans to establish a carbon tax


Published on April 20, 2017

Darlene Compton

©Maureen Coulter/ The Guardian

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. -  Darlene Compton wants to know why the government hasn’t put forth a plan when it comes to legislating a carbon tax in the province.

This was the focus of the MLA for Belfast-Murray River’s questions in legislature Thursday, pressing Finance Minister Allen Roach on the federal government initiative that will come into effect Jan. 1, 2018.

Compton raised concerns over what the tax will mean for Islanders.

“The fact is, this is going to hurt Islanders. It doesn’t matter how you spin it, it is going to hurt Islanders, especially rural P.E.I.,” said Compton.

Compton also wanted to know why the carbon tax revenue is not in the budget.

“How can the minister of finance table a budget without a single mention or figure for this carbon tax revenue?” asked Compton.

Roach said the carbon tax revenue is not found in many provincial government books in the country.

“This carbon pricing is still unfolding,” explained Roach.

At times the conversation became heated between Roach and Compton.

“You are the tax and spend government,” said Compton. “This carbon pricing is a tax grab for your wallets. It’s not a good deal for anyone.”

Roach said they don’t want to rush this process, as they want to ensure they are in alignment with the energy and climate change strategies.

“To come out and start making recommendations or making decisions until those strategies are in front of us in the fall, just would not be proper at all.”

“This is one of those situations where I think it’s imperative that we don’t get out ahead of the other provinces, that we don’t make quick decisions.”

Compton also wanted to know if Roach is fighting to get P.E.I. a better deal because of its investments in renewable energy.

“There is no question that will be a huge topic that we are going to go forward with and that is why we don’t want to make our move too quickly,” said Roach. “We want to see what deals the other provinces are going to cut and we are going to be right there with our own when we are talking about producing our own green energy.”


mcoulter@theguardian.pe.ca
Twitter.com/MaureenElizaC