Carbon Tax, Singh hunts two rabbits at one time

OTTAWA – Keeping one foot in more shoes is his philosophy: he supports Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberal government but, at the same time, claims to be in opposition with his “Left” party, the NDP. Even on the carbon tax, Jagmeet Singh remains faithful to his philosophy, not taking a precise and definitive position. Sometimes he makes it clear that he is against it, sometimes in favor. And so he “gets by”, acting – also in this case – in opposition to the Trudeau government and, at the same time, supporting it.

As CTV writes, the NDP leader spent Monday insisting that his party’s position on the carbon tax remained unchanged, but Jagmeet Singh refused to explicitly say whether he supports the tax imposed on consumers and the fact that Canadians have to pay it on everyday goods such as petrol. “Our position hasn’t changed at all” he told reporters. “We absolutely support a price on pollution. We’ve always supported it” he said, remaining generic.

Singh faced reporters for the first time since a speech last week at the annual “Progress Summit,” where he vowed to “not punish people” who can’t change how they heat their homes or get to work. Then later he said the New Democrats would support a carbon tax on industrialists, “the big polluters”. “We don’t want working people to feel like they’re shouldering the burden. That’s not fair. And frankly, not a New Democrat solution to the problem”.

“We need to make sure – the NDP leader added – that we fight the climate crisis with everything we have, but the Liberals are eroding that trust by not supporting the working class people” Singh said, accusing the Liberal government of “continuing to providing subsidies to oil and gas companies without providing support to working class families”.

Singh’s comments follow those of his NDP colleague Laurel Collins, who explained the NDP’s decision to vote alongside the Conservatives for a parliamentary motion critical of Liberal policy and calling for the abolition of the carbon tax. A lot of chaos, in short.

The apparent change in tone seemed to dismay even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who last week admitted he didn’t understand the NDP’s position. Trudeau noted that Singh is facing “political pressure” from the Conservatives and their leader Pierre Poilievre, who want to abolish the carbon tax.

Poilievre actually toured the country far and wide, including NDP strongholds, to rally supporters around his “axe the tax” message. It may therefore be that the NDP leader has tried to recover the ground he is losing on the carbon tax “front” which is not particularly popular with the majority of Canadians, as recent polls have shown.

And while the Conservative leader points, clearly, to the carbon tax as one of the reasons for Canadians’ increased anxieties about affordability, both the Liberals and the NDP accuse him, Poilievre, of having no plan to address climate change. The polls, however, prove he’s on the right way to have people’s support, with his position without “ifs” or “buts”.

In the pic above, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh in a photo from his Twitter page X – @theJagmeetSingh