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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says some premiers would rather complain than come up with their own strategies for dealing with climate change.

His assertion today came as he faced questions about a scheduled increase in federal carbon pricing that has prompted a call from Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey for an urgent meeting of leaders on the hike.

But during a news conference in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough, Trudeau continued to push back at premiers who have been on the attack. “All those premiers that are busy complaining about the price on pollution, but not putting forward a concrete alternative that they think would be better for their communities, are just playing politics,” he said.

“But we’re not seeing detailed plans from the premiers on this. They would much rather try to complain about it and make political hay out of this.”

Today’s $15-per-tonne increase applies in every province and territory except for British Columbia, Quebec and Northwest Territories, which have their own systems of carbon pricing.

Residents of the provinces that pay the federal carbon price also receive the federal rebate. B.C. and Northwest Territories, in turn, provide their own rebates that are slightly different. There’s an explainer on how it works here.

“You know what? All Canadians know that we have to fight climate change. All Canadians know that we are squeezed on affordability,” Trudeau said, noting his carbon-pricing plan fights climate change and provides more money in rebates that what is paid in the levy for eight out of 10 Canadian families.

Trudeau said his government is open to working with any province on putting a price on pollution that will provide support for families and also reach the same level of ambition as other provinces.

Later today, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is scheduled to hold a rally opposing the federal carbon-pricing agenda, in the Vancouver Island city of Nanaimo.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Ian Bailey. It is available exclusively to our digital subscribers. If you're reading this on the web, subscribers can sign up for the Politics newsletter and more than 20 others on our newsletter signup page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.


PM announces national school food program:, Justin Trudeau announced his government will spend $1-billion over the next five years on a national food program that is expected to provide meals to 400,000 more children per year.

Ottawa expands Haiti evacuation to include relatives, Canadian permanent residents: The government has also arranged for a charter flight for Canadians who pay a market rate to fly between the Dominican Republic and Montreal.

Manitoba budget, set for Tuesday, to include several tax breaks and hits: The NDP government’s first budget since winning last October’s election is also expected to fulfill some of the promises the party made during the election campaign, including a doubling of the tax credit for fertility treatments, free prescription birth control and rebates of up to $4,000 for people buying electric vehicles.

Federal politicians get pay bump, PM salary tops $400,000: Parliamentarians from all stripes will get a 4.4-per-cent increase, meaning the standard salary for a backbench MP will increase by $8,500, CBC reports.

Canada’s chief statistician exits: Anil Arora, who oversees Statistics Canada, retired March 31 after more than seven years at the helm. “I think pushing the envelope or pushing the boundaries has been my career,” Arora said in an interview.

A housing remedy for Canada’s hard-hit ERs: As homeless patients make repeated visits to emergency rooms, hospitals grapple with how to treat people better when they have nowhere else to turn.


“When kids are hungry, they can’t focus on school or they can’t focus on having fun or they can’t focus on being a kid.” - NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, at a Toronto news conference today, making the case for federal support for a national school food program.


Commons, Senate: The House of Commons is on a break until April 8. The Senate sits again April 9.

Deputy Prime Minister’s day: Chrystia Freeland joined Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for an announcement on the federal national school food program.

Ministers on the road: In Hamilton, Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, along with Justice Minister Arif Virani and Small Business Minister Rechie Valdez, announced federal support for school food programs in southern Ontario.


In Toronto, Justin Trudeau visited a local community centre with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and announced the national school food program, accompanied by Families Minister Jenna Sudds, and Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth.


Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet is on a tour of the Gaspé Peninsula this week, with stops today in the city of Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, a meeting with representatives of the Exploramer St. Lawrence Marine Life Museum, and a meeting with Magella Emond, mayor of the village municipality of Mont-Saint-Pierre.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre held a news conference in Nanaimo, B.C. ahead of an evening rally in the Vancouver Island city to oppose increases in federal carbon pricing.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May is observing Easter with her family and has no public commitments.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh held a news conference in Toronto with Clare Hacksel, the NDP candidate for the federal riding of Toronto-Danforth.


On today’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, Globe science reporter Ivan Semeniuk explains what makes the upcoming total eclipse on April 8 special for Canadians and how to view it safely. The Decibel is here.


Hugh Blakeney: The long-time New Democrat, who worked for federal NDP leaders Ed Broadbent and Alexa McDonough, as well as Howard Hampton, who served as the leader of the Ontario NDP, has died in Ottawa. Details here.

Benoît Pelletier: The former Quebec intergovernmental affairs minister until premier Jean Charest has died, aged 63, says CBC.


Impact of Poilievre’s popularity on B.C. politics: A new poll suggests the provincial Conservative Party in British Columbia is benefiting from his popularity even though there are no official links between the two parties.


When you play with FIFA matches, expect to get burned

“Has anyone else noticed that whenever the Fédération Internationale de Football Association – a.k.a. FIFA – comes to town, controversy and regret follow? Yes. Everyone has noticed this. Everyone in the entire world who follows soccer and its apogee, the World Cup, knows the score by heart.” - The Globe and Mail Editorial Board.

The premiers’ accidental clarity in carbon taxes

“Pierre Poilievre and his Conservatives decided the “so-called experts” on federal carbon pricing are muddying the debate with facts and figures, so last week they called in Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe to do the opposite. Mr. Moe was one of three premiers, with New Brunswick’s Blaine Higgs and Alberta’s Danielle Smith, drafted by the Conservatives to testify at a parliamentary committee against the carbon tax just days before an April 1 increase. And though Mr. Moe mostly served up word salads, he ended up accidentally clarifying what the carbon-pricing debate is all about.” - Campbell Clark.

The future economy will suffer if Canada axes the carbon tax

“The carbon tax is the single most effective climate policy that Canada has. But the tax is also an important industrial strategy, one that bets correctly on the growing need for greener energy globally and the fact that upstart Canadian companies must rise to meet these needs. That is why it is such a shame our leaders are sacrificing it for political gains.” - Kevin Yin.

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