Today, the supreme court handed down their ruling on the carbon tax and they ruled in a 6-3 decision it was constitutional. At this point, provinces opposed would be wise to adopt their own carbon tax instead of having the federal government impose one and yes use revenue in short term to pay down deficit so budget can be balanced ahead of schedule and then after that use it to cut corporate and income taxes. Also important to include rebates to low and middle income individuals as the tax is regressive. Long term the goal should be revenue neutrality, but in short term large deficits may warrant not using it that way, but at least every cent before then should be used to reduce deficit, not more government spending. Since the federal government is going to impose one anyways, better to retain control rather than let Trudeau use it for pet projects or vote buying schemes.
As for Conservatives, I think party needs to accept that much like same sex marriage a decade ago and abortion, this is a lost cause and fighting it just further emphasizes party is out of touch with modern Canada. At same time, I think perhaps having one that taxes large emitters as opposed to regular consumers is one option or maybe change rebates to increase them for those living in rural areas and northern communities where having a low carbon footprint is not realistic. Another option is like Quebec, adopt a cap and trade. All of those involve taking action on climate change as O’Toole has promised but given no details while at same time differentiates from Liberals. And also promise carbon tax will not go above $50/tonne. While I have been for carbon tax in the past, $170/tonne is just ridiculous. Even in Europe, no country goes anywhere near this level. Like with all taxes, I tend to take approach we should try to aim to be close to OECD average, but unfortunately as we are seeing with deficits and other taxes, Trudeau government wants us to be one of the highest taxed and I believe that is wrong approach. Tories can regain centre as being party that supports taxes high enough to fund the programs we want as a society, but not excessive that it harms economic growth, makes us uncompetitive, or makes things too expensive for ordinary Canadians