If Andrew Scheer was planning on making inroads in Quebec, Chantal Hebert writes, his opposition to a carbon tax has doomed his efforts:
In Quebec, the anti-carbon pricing platform Scheer has been spending the fall shoring up is dead on arrival both in the National Assembly and on the ground.
As for his commitment to the Energy East pipeline — a project designed to transport oil from the Prairies through Ontario and Quebec to the Atlantic Coast — it amounts to a target on the back of his candidates as well as an incentive for Quebec’s premier to keep at a safe distance from the federal Conservatives.
The passion which used to be spent on Quebec sovereignty is now finding voice in environmental activism:
Tens of thousands of Quebecers took to the streets this weekend to call for more decisive action on climate change. In Montreal alone, 50,000 took part in the demonstration.
In the short space of a week, more than 150,000 signed a pledge that commits them to reduce their carbon footprints but also demands more proactive leadership on the issue from governments.
Newly elected premier Francois Legault has taken note and intends to ride the wave:
Among the right-of-centre premiers and leaders who have emerged since Justin Trudeau became prime minister, Premier François Legault already stands alone in support of the federal climate-change framework. The Quebec cap-and-trade system put in place under previous governments is there to stay.
Quebec has always gone its own way. And, on the issue of the carbon tax, it will do so again.
Image: The McGill Tribune