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NDP's Singh calls out 'climate delay Liberals, and climate deny Conservatives' as home heating motion defeated

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A motion calling for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to permanently remove the GST from all forms of home heating was defeated Wednesday after the NDP failed to find support among any major party in the House of Commons.

On Wednesday afternoon, the proposal was voted down 292 to 30, with the New Democrat, and Green parties backing it. 

Similar to Monday's failed Conservative motion calling for the three-year pause on the carbon price collected from home heating oil to be expanded to all forms of home heating, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh's proposal was non-binding, meaning even if it had passed, it wouldn’t have forced the government to act. 

Specifically, the NDP wanted the government to: 

  • Remove the GST from all forms of home heating;
  • Make eco-energy retrofits and heat pumps free and easy to access for low-income and middle-class Canadians, regardless of energy source; and
  • Finance these projects by putting in place a tax on the excess profits of big oil and gas corporations.

Ahead of the vote, the NDP noted that 13 years ago, then-NDP leader Jack Layton tried to push for a similar proposal, and then too the Liberals and Conservatives rejected it.

This motion was the latest effort from opposition parties to keep the carbon pricing conversation alive on Parliament Hill, after the federal Liberals faced backlash over the home heating oil carve-out to the carbon tax.

In Wednesday's question period, the fraying cross-party relations over the heated file were on display.

"We put forward a plan to help Canadians with their home heating bills, help Canadians tackle the climate crisis, and make big oil and gas pay for it. Now environmental organizations are on board, but climate delay Liberals, and climate deny Conservatives will back the profits of big oil again. So how can the prime minister and the leader of the Conservative party justify voting against this?" asked Singh.

"Mr. Speaker, it was with confusion and consternation that I noted the way the NDP voted with the Conservatives against one of the most successful measures Canada has ever seen in the fight against climate change," Trudeau said in response. "Seeing the NDP vote with the Conservatives against a price on pollution is something that has disappointed millions of progressives across this country."

Then, when it was next his turn to rise and question the prime minister, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre started by first noting how it was "almost tragic and heartbreaking to see these two squabbling in this way."

Later, responding to a softball question from a backbench Liberal MP about the Conservatives' stance on climate change, Trudeau accused Poilievre of having "no plan, and no vision," and that "perhaps he should put his glasses back on," a nod to the Official Opposition leader's recent attempts to soften his image.

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