Canada
Conservatives kill carbon tax

Environment Minister Peter Kent spoke at the 100 anniversary of Parks Canada at the Fairmont Hotel in Ottawa, May 19, 2011.

Credits: Chris Roussakis/QMI Agency

JESSICA MURPHY | QMI AGENCY

OTTAWA -- Conservatives have kiboshed a carbon tax, Environment Minister Peter Kent confirmed Thursday.

"It's off the table," he told reporters Thursday after accepting an award from World Wildlife Fund International on behalf of Parks Canada.

"There's no expectation of cap-and-trade continentally in the near or medium future."

In 2008, the Conservatives floated a North America-wide cap-and-trade system trial balloon soon after U.S. President Barack Obama was elected.

But during the election campaign, Prime Minister Stephen Harper warned the carbon-tax scheme proposed in the New Democrat platform would spike gas prices.

Nixing cap-and-trade will likely be a sore point for the NDP caucus, but Kent said he'd ignore any sabre-rattling from opposition benches.

"Noise shouldn't affect good government policy," he said.

Kent said the Tory government would continue with other means to reach the government's greenhouse-gas reduction target of 17% below 2005 levels by 2020.

"We're working on it and we're confident we can reach it," he said.

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