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N.S. submits new climate plan to Ottawa – CTV News Atlantic

As Nova Scotia confronts paying for pollution, a Dalhousie University professor thinks the province should be working with Ottawa, otherwise some consumers may end up spending more.
“This is going to happen no matter what,” said Larry Hughes, a professor with Dalhousie’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Halifax. “The province could be doing something now in anticipation of this type of problem occurring and I’m not seeing that taking place.”
Nova Scotia’s cap-and-trade model is set to expire by the end of the year and in April, the price of carbon will rise from $50 a tonne to $65 a tonne.
After Nova Scotia’s plan was rejected by Ottawa, the Houston government pitched a new plan last week. Its proposed carbon pricing model targets large industrial emitters but doesn’t tax consumers for heating oil or gas. 
“We remain steadfast in our resolve in opposing a carbon tax at the pumps. We don’t believe it’s appropriate, we don’t believe it’s necessary,” Environment Minister Tim Halman told reporters Tuesday.
In an analysis of the potential cost of the carbon tax on Nova Scotians, Hughes notes that rebates to consumers in other provinces where the federal tax applies may not be enough to cover the costs for Nova Scotians. He’s urging the Houston government to work with Ottawa to create a rebate program that will.
“Rather than fighting the federal government, the Nova Scotia government should take the recommendations made in this report and develop a better, more equitable carbon pricing system,” Hughes writes.
When Hughes crunched the numbers and compared rebates available to low and middle-income earners in Ontario and Saskatchewan with that for Nova Scotia, he found that consumers will require a higher rebate in Nova Scotia.
“Many of our homes are older, they still have very high energy demand for space heating,” Hughes said. “Our transportation. Our average transportation compared to other provinces is greater than, for example, Alberta and Saskatchewan.”
Hughes writes that if Nova Scotia’s rebate program looked similar to Saskatchewan’s, the impact on consumers would be less than if it resembled Ontario’s. But even still, while a four-person household with the most efficient heating system could gain between $17 and $183, homes with inefficient heating systems could lose between $47 and $481 dollars.
Premier Tim Houston told reporters Tuesday that he’s hopeful Ottawa will accept the province’s new plan and see that the carbon tax is punitive and doesn’t help the planet.
“We’re focused on helping the planet,” he said. “Failing all that, we’ve asked them to work with us on any revenues that are collected, allow us to have a hand in distributing that back to Nova Scotians.”
Liberal Leader Zach Churchill said Nova Scotians are potentially facing the largest gas price hike in Canada.
“And I really do believe the Houston government has failed to negotiate properly with the federal government,” Churchill said.
NDP Leader Claudia Chender said Nova Scotia’s plan to target large industrial emitters is part of what the government was asked to do.
“They’ve refused to the rest of their homework and at this point, it looks like Nova Scotians will pay the price,” she said.
Last week, a spokesperson with Environment Climate Change Canada said it’s assessing the plans provinces have submitted and anticipates making an announcement later this fall about where the federal system will apply from 2023 onwards.
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