Freeland says high fuel prices a ‘reminder’ of why we need to transition to green economy

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Tuesday that record-breaking high gas prices were a reminder of why Canada needs to move towards a green economy.

Freeland made the comments during a press conference in Brampton, Ontario, where she took questions on concerns around the potential for a coming recession.

“From my perspective, this price increase in fuel costs is a reminder of why climate action is so important, and why as a country we have to work even harder and move even faster towards a green economy. It’s an insurance policy against higher energy prices,” she said.

The Trudeau Liberals thus far have refused to bring in a gas tax holiday, making them one of the few G7 countries to not do so.

Two weeks ago, US President Joe Biden called on Congress to suspend the federal gasoline tax for three months, while the UK, Italy, Germany, France, and Japan have all taken similar action.

Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has said that the government does not have plans at the moment to cut prices at the pump, and is instead looking to increase supply to help alleviate the pain at the pump.

Freeland said that a price on pollution would help push the country towards a green economy.

“In terms of energy prices and the carbon price and Brampton families, I think it’s important to remind people that our price on pollution is going to help the whole country transition to a green economy. It’s going to make us safer in the future and protect our planet,” she said.

She later said, “… I am very aware affordability challenges everyone in Canada is facing. We need to balance what we do in terms of affordability with the need for fiscally responsible policies right now. The last thing our government wants to do is to poor fuel on the flames of inflation. We don’t want to make the problem worse, so we’re always looking for a balance between supporting families and fiscal responsibility. And that means that nothing is off the table,” she said.

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