Sep 23, 2012 / 2:35 pm
Environment Minister Peter Kent is attempting to put some heft behind the Conservatives' climate-change talking points that have driven Ottawa to distraction over the past week.
In an interview with The Canadian Press, Kent says the NDP's cap-and-trade proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions amounts to a carbon tax by definition.
He says the New Democrats' election platform from 2011 shows it would bring in $21-billion in government revenue over four years.
Kent says the cap-and-trade idea is a "great concept" that indeed was once the prefered approach of Conservatives but was ditched because it couldn't be proven to be effective.
He says the party changed its mind because it wanted a system that would guarantee emissions reductions, something he says cap-and-trade can't do.
Kent acknowledges that the government's system of imposing regulations on polluting sectors of the economy comes with billions of dollars in costs.
But he says those costs are long-term and none of the money will be collected by the government.
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