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Poilievre attacks 'cruel' carbon tax increase during visit to BC gas station

Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre has branded today’s increase in the carbon tax a “cruel April Fools’ joke on Canadians.”

It is a “joke without laughter,” he said, speaking in front of a gas station in Nanaimo, a “joke that brings tears to the eyes of most Canadians.”

The federal carbon price was hiked to 17.6 cents per litre of gas and 15.25 cents per cubic metre of natural gas today. The same increase also occurred in British Columbia, though the province manages its own carbon tax system.

Poilievre, who is hosting an “Axe the Tax Rally” at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre at 6 pm tonight, attacked both Justin Trudeau and David Eby by name during his press conference.

He said that if he were elected prime minister, he would abolish the carbon tax and “free” BC to do the same thing.

“Right now, Justin Trudeau has basically threatened BC,” he said.

“He said either BC will bring in its own carbon tax or, if it doesn’t, the Trudeau government will force one from Ottawa.

“By removing that threat, British Columbians can elect a common sense provincial government that can axe the tax here in BC.”

He said that the alternative is for Trudeau and Eby to quadruple the tax, pointing to the price sign at the gas station and saying: “This is just the beginning.”

The carbon tax will increase to $170 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030.

Poilievre also said he intends to bring down emissions in Canada by backing new technologies and encouraging a “massive abundance” of energy sourced from the likes of hydroelectric dams, nuclear power stations and tidal power.

The prime minister has previously sought to emphasize the rebate aspect of the carbon tax, repeating his claim last week that it’s “basic math” that most Canadians will be given more cash by the federal government than they pay in carbon taxes.

The Conservatives have rejected the prime minister’s claim, pointing to indirect costs from the tax, for example in the price of food due to increased transport costs.

Speaking in Scarborough, Ont., today, Trudeau said again that premiers and Conservatives have complained about the carbon tax without putting forward an alternative.

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