OTTAWA — The federal Liberals seemed to be on to a winner with the idea that they would win social licence for a new pipeline on the West Coast by introducing a carbon pricing plan.
Polls suggested this compact had the support of majorities in every region.
But in recent days, there has been a great deal of noise about the plan unraveling, as the Alberta and B.C. governments slugged it out over the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, and as the election of carbon tax opponent Doug Ford as the new leader of the Progressive Conservatives in Ontario raised questions about the participation of the largest province.
Meanwhile, Jason Kenney, the opposition leader in Alberta, has been trying to enlist provincial leaders to join in a constitutional challenge to the federal government’s pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change, which imposes a carbon tax on any province that does not put a minimum price on carbon by next January.
Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna sounded rattled last weekend when she urged progressive voters to get behind Ottawa’s grand bargain or watch the climate change plan blow up.
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