QP – Carbon Pricing in Nunavut

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, P.C., M.P., Minister of Environment and Climate Change

November 7, 2017

Carbon Pricing in Nunavut

Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Thank you. Minister, I asked you before about the difficult situation of Nunavut, where your government agreed to work with the territories to study the impacts of carbon pricing. We have no alternative energy systems in place, unfortunately.

I’m wondering, with 2018 ahead, whether you would support slowing down the implementation of carbon pricing in Nunavut until we complete that work that was promised, that joint work on the impacts on our already sky-high cost of living.

Hon. Catherine McKenna, P.C., M.P., Minister of Environment and Climate Change: Thank you, honourable senator, for the question.

I agree with you. I agree that we need to be looking at the cost of putting a price on pollution in Nunavut. I think it’s really important that we not make people that have no alternatives pay more.

We are committed to working with the Government of Nunavut. I have met many times with my counterpart.

Also we need to do more to help these communities get off diesel. Diesel, once again, back to the impacts of pollution — pollution is not just something that creates climate change. It has direct health impacts. We believe that investments that we’re making, including $220 million to reduce reliance on diesel in remote communities, will have a real impact.

I also want to make sure that we’re working with the communities so that through these opportunities we create good jobs. The environment and the economy go together. That is what I say, but that is also what we do as a government.