POLITICS

Nova Scotia Progressive Conservatives would not support carbon tax, leader says

02/06/2015 07:20 EST | Updated 04/08/2015 05:59 EDT
HALIFAX - Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie says he would not support the introduction of a carbon tax in the province.

Speaking at the party's annual general meeting Friday night, Baillie said a carbon tax would be a burden for families.

"If we are going to truly rebuild our economy, then we do need to change the way Nova Scotians are taxed," Baillie said in a prepared text of his speech. "But that means finding ways to give families a break, not finding new ways to tax them even more."

Baillie said a carbon tax would increase the cost of heating homes and driving cars at a time when Nova Scotians cannot afford it.

"Call it what you like. A carbon tax, pollution tax, whatever. Let's be honest about what it is," said Baillie. "It is a tax on the way Nova Scotian's live and work."

A report released in November by Laurel Broten, who was tasked with reviewing Nova Scotia's tax system, said a carbon tax should be introduced on environmental pollutants and the goods that produce such pollutants.

The former Ontario cabinet minister said in her report that the tax would generate $229 million in revenue by 2020.

Finance Minister Diana Whalen said at the time she was reviewing Broten's recommendation.