Five conservative premiers are asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a meeting to discuss their demand that the federal government remove the carbon tax from all forms of home heating.
The premiers of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia made the request in a letter published Friday addressed to Trudeau.
"We are pleased that your government is recognizing some of the hardships of carbon pricing, specifically in Atlantic Canada," says the letter. "However, many Canadian households do not use home heating oil and instead use all forms of heating to heat their homes. Winter is coming and these people also deserve a break.
"By singling out Atlantic Canadians with this relief, it has caused divisions across the country. All Canadians are equally valued and should be equally respected. A Canadian is a Canadian."
Trudeau, facing mounting pressure from some provinces and opposition parties over his decision to temporarily suspend the carbon tax from home heating oil, said last week that "there will absolutely not be any other carve-outs or suspensions of the price on pollution."
When asked Friday about Canada's progress on greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, Trudeau pointed the finger at conservative premiers.
"We put in place the most ambitious plan and actions to fight climate change that any Canadian government has ever seen," he told reporters. "And we've done it at the same time as conservative provincial premiers have been pulling back on the fight against climate change, not stepping up in the fight against climate change."
Trudeau said conservative politicians don't understand that the cost of inaction on climate change is "massively large" and will impact future generations.
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, who has long campaigned on axing the carbon tax entirely, is accusing Trudeau of engaging in regional favouritism with the move to temporarily suspend the carbon tax on home heating oil.
Trudeau has said the policy will help Atlantic Canadians in particular, because they rely more on furnace oil to heat their homes.
Asked for comment on the premiers' letter, a spokesperson for Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland said the minister is looking forward to discussing "issues of importance to Canadians across the country" in her upcoming annual meeting with provincial finance ministers in December.
On Monday, the Liberals and the Bloc Québécois voted to strike down a non-binding Poilievre-sponsored motion calling on the federal government to extend the carbon tax exemption to all forms of home heating.
A separate Conservative-sponsored private member's bill that would secure a carbon tax exemption for natural gas and propane used by farmers is currently in its third reading in the Senate.