Jagmeet Singh defends NDP climate plan, criticizes Liberal policy

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SHERBROOKE, Que. — Jagmeet Singh defended his party’s environmental plan on Friday, as the New Democrats' campaign moved across Canada in a final push to get voters to the polls.

“Our commitment is we have to fight this climate crisis with everything we have,” Singh told reporters at a campaign stop at Université de Sherbrooke, in Sherbrooke, Que.

Singh has accused Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau throughout the campaign of giving large carbon emitters exemptions and letting them of the hook. The NDP leader has positioned his party as the one most concerned about the environment and has criticized Trudeau’s climate strategy as being too soft on big polluters.

The Liberal plan imposes a direct price on carbon polluting or requires provinces to have a cap-and-trade system. It uses what's known as an "output-based" pricing system, under which companies are issued emissions credits based on their level of output and sector. If they emit more than their credits allow, they have to pay.

The government describes the system as one that ensures “a price incentive for industrial emitters to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and spur innovation while maintaining competitiveness.”

Singh said the Liberals' strategy is not good enough to tackle the climate crisis. He said the NDP will make the carbon tax more fair and roll back loopholes. But the NDP's plan has been criticized for lacking detail.

“We will listen to experts," Singh said. "We will listen to the evidence."

The NDP leader is travelling to Halifax and then Saskatoon later on Friday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 17, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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