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House of Commons rejects Conservative non-confidence motion over carbon tax

Move marked 11th time in 18 months that Poilievre has attempted to kill or amend carbon price
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre attempted to kill the Liberals’ carbon pricing with a non-confidence motion on March 21. The vote failed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The federal Liberal government will not be forced into an election over carbon pricing — at least not today.

The Liberals, NDP and Bloc Québécois all voted against a Conservative motion calling for a confidence vote in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for refusing to call off a planned April increase in Canada’s carbon price.

The price will go up by $15 a tonne next month as scheduled, adding another 3.3 cents to the price of a litre of gasoline and 2.86 cents for a cubic metre of natural gas.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre says carbon pricing makes everything more expensive.

But the Liberals insist their rebates mean most Canadians are not worse off as a result of the levy.

There is no law or parliamentary rule governing confidence motions and whether they can trigger an election. Rather, it is only convention that a government should fall after losing a confidence vote.

It was the 11th time in 18 months as Conservative leader that Poilievre has moved a motion to kill or amend the carbon price. It was, however, the first to explicitly express non-confidence in Trudeau.

All of them have been voted down.

New Democrat MP Heather McPherson said the Conservatives have brought so many motions on carbon pricing that it felt like Groundhog Day in the chamber.

She said the repeated motions are clearly a stunt for political effect.

None of the official party leaders showed up in person to vote, a clear sign it was not expected to pass.

The Canadian Press