Manitoba NDP Finance Minister Adrien Sala is seeking the same exemption from the carbon tax that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau extended to Atlantic Canadians on home heating for residents in his province.

Sala said he would like to see “greater fairness” in how the federal government applies their carbon pricing exemptions. 

Outside of Atlantic Canada, most provinces predominantly use natural gas to heat their homes and not oil heating.

Last week, Saskatchewan’s Premier Scott Moe and Alberta’s Premier Danielle Smith called on the federal government to grant their provinces the same exemption on natural gas as Trudeau did for oil heating. 

On Monday, Moe declared that SaskEnergy would simply stop collecting the federal carbon tax from Saskatchewan residents if Ottawa would not agree to an exemption on natural gas beginning in January. 

Sala said that he would not take the federal government to court over the carbon tax, as Manitoba’s previous PC government had but rather wanted to have a positive dialogue with the federal government about how to ensure Manitobans are treated fairly. 

“We’re seeing other provinces that are asking for some changes and we did see that the prime minister committed to some changes in eastern Canada. That’s definitely of interest to us here in Manitoba. We want to know how that might extend to greater fairness for Manitobans,” Sala said on Tuesday in an interview with CBC News.

“We’re going to start by having conversations with the federal government around this question to understand how those types of benefits that are being provided to folks in eastern Canada might be extended to folks in Manitoba. No idea what that looks like right now, but we want to start from a position of collaboration and cooperation.”

Sala cited Ottawa’s exemption for oil heating as well as their offer to fund geothermal heating in Atlantic Canada as potential solutions for his residents as well. 

“Those are good offers that are being made to folks in those provinces to help reduce their cost of living,” said Sala.

However on Tuesday, the Trudeau government announced that no further exemptions would be granted.

“There will absolutely not be any other carve-outs or suspensions of the price on pollution,” Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa.

Sala said that on Jan. 1, the Manitoba government will begin their own carve-out: a promised six-month suspension of the 14-cents-a-litre tax on gas. 

According to Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew, the suspension will be a temporary measure to increase affordability for Manitobans.

Additionally, the Manitoba government plans to install 5,000 heat pumps throughout the province in an effort to reduce energy consumption.