A Liberal MP from Atlantic Canada has publicly criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax hike and the impact of his government’s energy policies on the region’s economy.
Wayne Long, who represents the riding of Saint John–Rothesay in New Brunswick, said he is feeling the pressure from his constituents who are struggling with the high cost of living while the Trudeau government ramps up costly carbon tax hikes.
Long said he supports the Liberal government’s carbon pricing plan, but argued that it needs to be better communicated and adjusted for Atlantic Canada.
He said the 10% top-up to carbon rebates for people in rural areas is not enough to offset the pain at the pump.
Long’s comments come as Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre shored up support in the region.
“(Poilievre is) having a free run of it right now,” Mr. Long said. “I don’t like it. But we need to respond.”
“Whether we like it or not, we’ve got a problem. It can be a problem of communication or perception, but we’ve got a problem.”
The Liberal MP also said he is unhappy with his own government’s approach to the clean fuel regulations, which he said are penalizing Irving Oil, Canada’s largest oil refinery and a major employer in Atlantic Canada.
According to the Telegraph Journal, the Liberal MP said the government has not listened to the company’s concerns and has imposed a “top-down” system that does not reward its efforts to become carbon neutral.
Long is not running for re-election in the next federal election, but his comments reflect the growing anxiety among Liberals in Atlantic Canada, where they hold 24 out of 32 seats.
While in New Brunswick, Poilievre took a dig at the Trudeau government for penalizing the energy sector.
“(There’s) countless reasons why this should be one of the most prosperous places on planet Earth,” said Poilievre.
“But we’ve got a federal government that is waging war on our energy sector right now, favouring foreign production rather than domestic.”