Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister has announced his government will be challenging the federally imposed carbon tax in court.

The carbon tax, which was imposed on Manitoba on Monday against the province’s wishes, raises the price tag of pretty much everything Manitobans buy – gas, natural gas, groceries and more.

Premier Pallister says he’s disappointed that he has had to take this step.

“This has been a long and difficult process of negotiation… we tried to keep Justin Trudeau out of the pockets of Manitobans,” he said.

The carbon tax puts the price of carbon emissions at $20 per tonne, which raises the price of gas in the province by 4.4 cents per litre.

The federal government plans on raising the tax every year to $50 a tonne by 2022.

Manitoba is the fourth province to challenge the carbon tax in court — Ontario, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan have all launched their own challenges.

True North will be on the ground to cover the Ontario carbon tax trial on April 15-18.  

The provinces are arguing that the federal government does not have the right to enforce a carbon tax if they already have plans to reduce carbon emissions without new taxes.

Pallister says that Manitoba’s challenge may take up to two years to be heard, but he hopes that a ruling in favour of the other provinces will stop the carbon tax earlier than that.

In the meantime, Pallister has promised to not apply the provincial sales tax (PST) and the goods and services tax (GST) on the carbon tax to lessen the burden the tax will be on Manitobans.

“Ottawa is charging federal sales tax on top of its carbon tax, meaning Manitobans will be hit twice on their natural gas bills,” said Pallister.  

“The added cost of charging GST on top of the federal carbon tax means Manitobans will have less disposable income at the end of the month.  Affordability matters and we are ensuring Manitobans will not be triple charged.”

Pallister has also promised that his government will be implementing its own Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan which achieves the same amount of carbon emissions decreases that the federal government wants to see without needing the federal carbon tax.

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