On Wednesday, the Council of Atlantic Premiers had a follow-up meeting with the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change for the Government of Canada, regarding the implementation of the Clean Fuel Regulations which will have a disproportionate impact on Atlantic Canadians by increasing their costs for fuel and other essential goods and services.
Atlantic Premiers reiterated their commitment to climate change and pointed to various programs and policy initiatives they have implemented and reminded Minister Guilbeault that the four provinces have been willing partners with the federal government to reduce carbon emissions. Unfairly burdening Atlantic Canadians with increased costs on July 1st is not an effective way to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
After weeks of waiting for information from Minister Guilbeault about options to reduce the impact of implementing the Clean Fuel Regulations, the Minister presented no new information or possible solutions to mitigate impact. Minister Guilbeault continues to state that the numbers his department has are different from those released by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office, but refuses to share that information with the four Atlantic provinces, despite repeated requests.
Minister Guilbeault has previously confirmed to Atlantic Premiers that during the development of the regulations it was identified that the Clean Fuel Regulations would have a disproportionate impact on Atlantic Canadians, but it was decided to move forward regardless. The Atlantic Premiers voiced concerns that in a federation, ignoring the disproportionate impact these regulations have on some jurisdictions is both unfair and offensive to Atlantic Canadians.
When Atlantic Premiers requested an immediate pause on these regulations Minister Guilbeault indicated that would require a conversation with the Prime Minister. Premiers are now requesting a meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau to ask him to pause the implementation of the Clean Fuel Regulations until further analysis can be completed on the disproportionate impact these regulation changes will have on Atlantic Canadians. Premiers are seeking action so that proper mitigation efforts can be put in place to prevent increases at a time when cost of living for residents in this region continues to increase.