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Jagmeet Singh refuses to commit to carbon tax increases

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is raising eyebrows anew over his carbon pricing stance, refusing to say Monday whether or not he would keep scheduled increases in place if he becomes prime minister.

The federal carbon price is set to rise to $170 per tonne of carbon dioxide or equivalent by 2030.

Singh said his party will be putting forward its own plan, but he wouldn’t say whether that includes maintaining the current system.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has made repealing carbon price a focal point of his campaigning, saying it’s contributing to the cost of living.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau insists his government’s carbon price puts more money back into most people’s pockets, while reducing greenhouse−gas emissions.

Earlier this month, he expressed confusion over Singh’s change in tone, saying he doesn’t "entirely understand the position of the NDP and pulling back from affordability measures and from the fight against climate change."

Even as both leaders remain firm in their positions, Singh has refused to explicitly say whether or not he supports the current carbon price framework, despite running on it in the 2019 election.

On Monday, he deflected questions about the carbon price by attacking Poilievre, accusing him of having no environmental plan.

"What we’ve said, our plan that we will put forward is one that is fair for working people, takes on the big polluters and lowers our emissions," Singh said.

Poilievre’s office hit back on Monday, saying Singh and the NDP have voted alongside "their masters" in the Liberal government 22 times, pointing to Tory motions in the House of Commons that aimed to get rid of the carbon price.

"Jagmeet Singh has sold out working Canadians by supporting the carbon tax, increasing the cost of food, gas and home heating for everyone, just to secure his own pension and a spot in Justin Trudeau’s government," Sebastian Skamski said in a statement.

"Only common sense Conservatives will axe the tax for everyone once and for all and bring home lower prices for Canadians."

The comment comes after Singh and the NDP voted in favour of a recent carbon−price motion from the Tories that called on Trudeau to hold a televised meeting with premiers on the issue.

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