The Gallant Liberal government has announced that they will not put a price on Carbon.

By only levying heavy industry, the Gallant government risks not covering enough of the economy by the Carbon levy to satisfy the standards set out by the Federal government. With this half-baked plan, Gallant risks missing our emissions reduction targets. By not implementing a carbon pricing policy that positively affects market behaviour, Gallant has decided to pass the buck of the coming climate crisis to the next generation.

This is another cowardly move that throws away a huge opportunity for this province to move forward. We will miss out on a historic opportunity to put people back to work, finance large-scale investments in publicly-owned renewable energy, fund ground-breaking research and development in renewable energy technology, and jump-start our future green economy. We can do this all while reducing poverty by offsetting the impacts of a carbon price on consumers with a targeted tax refund.

An NDP government would take a portion of the revenue from a real Carbon Levy and invest it in building large-scale renewable energy infrastructure, green energy technology, electrified public tranportation, and a housing retrofitting program to reduce energy costs for residences and small businesses. This is a historic opportunity to create ‘green-collar’ jobs that harness the skills, know-how and wisdom of New Brunswickers and build the green economy of our future.

We will make the investments we need now to jump-start the green transition. These investments will pay long term dividends to our province, and our common future. New Brunswick has highly skilled workers – welders, electricians, sheet metal workers – who are sitting on their doorsteps waiting for work after the cancellation of the Energy East pipeline. It’s time to put those skills to work, and introduce free retraining programs for workers in sunset industries. It’s time for a jobs-first climate plan.

Under an NDP government, New Brunswick would become a world leader in renewable energy technologies such as wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, nuclear and other sources of green energy. We would harness our natural resources in a way that helps New Brunswickers and our planet at the same time. We would return a large portion of the revenues from the Carbon Levy back to taxpayers with a carbon rebate – so we can progressively shift markets away from carbon – without making consumers pay for the climate crisis that the big polluters created.

We need a government that shows real leadership on carbon pricing and that will take this province into the future rather than keeping us mired in the past. It is time for the Government of New Brunswick to take climate change seriously. It’s time for real climate leadership. It’s time for a New Deal for New Brunswick.

-Jennifer McKenzie