Layton unaware of Farnworth's carbon tax proposal

Jack Layton isn’t commenting on British Columbia New Democratic Party leadership candidate Mike Farnworth‘s proposal to use the province’s carbon tax to fund public transit projects. Asked about that proposal today during a Victoria whistlestop, the federal NDP leader – who previously blasted that tax as “being unfair for ordinary families” – pled ignorance. “Well, I haven’t seen (Mr. Farnworth’s) position of course, and I’m not going to be getting involved in the provincial NDP leadership race, so for both of those reasons I can’t really give you a response,” he said.

The federal New Democrats support a national cap-and-trade program, which the party says will make big polluters do the most paying. Mr. Layton also sidestepped the question of whether or not he supports British Columbia even having a carbon tax.

“Well, that’s for the people of British Columbia to decide,” he told Public Eye.

In British Columbia’s 2009 election, the provincial New Democrats also didn’t support the carbon tax – a decision which drew fire from several major environmental groups.

Mr. Layton was in Victoria to support Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca nominee Randall Garrison‘s acclamation to that post. Earlier in the day, he also appeared at a fundraising luncheon at the Ambrosia Conference and Events Centre, hosted by parliamentarian Denise Savoie.

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