Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre speaks during a rally in Ottawa, on Sunday, March 24, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Spencer Colby

By Laura Osman

Conservatives won’t be taking advice from “so-called experts” when it comes to carbon pricing, the party said in a statement Wednesday after more than 200 economists signed an open letter challenging leader Pierre Poilievre’s stance.

Instead, the party is pledging to listen to the “common sense of the common people.”

“Common sense Conservatives will listen the common sense of the common people, not Justin Trudeau’s so-called ‘experts,'” Sebastian Skamski, a spokesperson for Poilievre, said in a statement Wednesday.

The comments come after economists associated with universities across Canada took aim at common claims in the heated debate over the Liberal’s carbon price policy.

The economists pushed back on assertions the carbon price has driven up the cost of living, and called out opponents for failing to pitch a less costly alternative to reduce emissions.

“And they certainly aren’t offering any alternatives that would reduce emissions at the same low cost as carbon pricing,” read the open letter, which had garnered 213 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon.

  • 0069 Sask Oil Show 2024 banquet tickets
    0069 Sask Oil Show 2024 banquet tickets
  • 0071 Pride Upkeep 2024 Packages
    0071 Pride Upkeep 2024 Packages
  • 0070 Sask Oil Show 2024 pre-register
    0070 Sask Oil Show 2024 pre-register
  • 0068 Sask Oil Show 2024 booth
    0068 Sask Oil Show 2024 booth
  • 0067 PFM SaskWorks Payroll Investment Plan
    0067 PFM SaskWorks Payroll Investment Plan
  • 0066 WBPC Promo video 30 seconds
    0066 WBPC Promo video 30 seconds
  • 0065 Anova Resources field operator Oxbow
    0065 Anova Resources field operator Oxbow
  • 0064 Estevan OTS
    0064 Estevan OTS
  • 0063 Turnbull Excavating hiring crusher
    0063 Turnbull Excavating hiring crusher
  • 0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
    0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
  • 0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
    0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
  • 0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
    0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
  • 0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
    0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
  • 0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
    0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
  • 0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
    0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
  • 0053 Kingston Midstream Westspur Alameda Click Before You Dig large text
    0053 Kingston Midstream Westspur Alameda Click Before You Dig large text
  • 0052 Predator Inspections
    0052 Predator Inspections
  • 0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
    0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
  • 0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
    0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
  • 0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
    0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
  • 0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
    0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
  • 0015 Latus Viro
    0015 Latus Viro
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 0002 gilliss casing services
    0002 gilliss casing services
  • 9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
    9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
  • 9001

 

The Opposition Conservatives have been almost singularly focused on abolishing the carbon price in the lead-up to the scheduled increase to the levy — from $65 to $80 per tonne — on April 1.

In response to the letter, Tories say “experts” are living comfortably while forcing a 23 per cent carbon tax hike on Canadians already struggling with affordability.

Poilievre has hosted massive rallies across the country dedicated to his “axe the tax” and, more recently, “spike the hike” messages.

The Conservatives will “not stop fighting” until Trudeau and NDP and Liberal MPs “spike the hike for all Canadians,” Skamski said in a statement.

He did not respond to a request for an interview.

The debate over the policy reached a fever pitch last week as several premiers joined the Conservatives’ call to roll back the planned increase to the carbon levy.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe questioned the credibility of the economists who signed the letter Wednesday and dismissed their assertion that the carbon price was the least costly option.

“It’s not the least costly way in Saskatchewan,” the premier said during testimony at the House of Commons operations committee.

He pointed out that some of the economists who signed the letter were appointed by the Liberal government to the Ecofiscal Commission in 2016.

McGill University’s Chris Ragan, the commission’s former chair and a former special adviser to the governor of the Bank of Canada, was heavily involved in drafting the letter.

He joined the body in 2016, after Trudeau was elected.

But the commission was an independent group of economists established in 2014, when Stephen Harper was prime minister.

The group’s advisory board was made up of people from all political stripes, including former Progressive Conservative Jean Charest.

Other members included former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin and former Alberta Progressive Conservative member of the legislative assembly Jim Dinning.

In the letter, economists said they welcomed a healthy debate on the carbon-price policy, but urged that “it should be based on sound evidence and facts.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 27, 2024.

 

  • 0069 Sask Oil Show 2024 banquet tickets
    0069 Sask Oil Show 2024 banquet tickets
  • 0071 Pride Upkeep 2024 Packages
    0071 Pride Upkeep 2024 Packages
  • 0070 Sask Oil Show 2024 pre-register
    0070 Sask Oil Show 2024 pre-register
  • 0068 Sask Oil Show 2024 booth
    0068 Sask Oil Show 2024 booth
  • 0067 PFM SaskWorks Payroll Investment Plan
    0067 PFM SaskWorks Payroll Investment Plan
  • 0066 WBPC Promo video 30 seconds
    0066 WBPC Promo video 30 seconds
  • 0065 Anova Resources field operator Oxbow
    0065 Anova Resources field operator Oxbow
  • 0064 Estevan OTS
    0064 Estevan OTS
  • 0063 Turnbull Excavating hiring crusher
    0063 Turnbull Excavating hiring crusher
  • 0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
    0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
  • 0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
    0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
  • 0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
    0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
  • 0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
    0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
  • 0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
    0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
  • 0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
    0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
  • 0053 Kingston Midstream Westspur Alameda Click Before You Dig large text
    0053 Kingston Midstream Westspur Alameda Click Before You Dig large text
  • 0052 Predator Inspections
    0052 Predator Inspections
  • 0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
    0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
  • 0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
    0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
  • 0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
    0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
  • 0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
    0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
  • 0015 Latus Viro
    0015 Latus Viro
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 0002 gilliss casing services
    0002 gilliss casing services
  • 9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
    9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
  • 9001