Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion's proposed carbon tax would plunge Canada into a recession and reignite “old battles” over national unity, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper warned a Montreal business crowd Thursday morning.
It was Mr. Harper's harshest attack on the Liberals' centrepiece proposal so far this campaign. He offered no new campaign promises but continued his election trail strategy of building daily addresses around broadsides at the Liberal carbon tax.
The Tory leader told reporters the Liberal plan would be an economic catastrophe and suggested it would trigger a recession worse than one that struck in the early 1980s.
"It [would] wreak havoc on Canada's economy, destroy jobs, weaken business at a time of global uncertainty,” Mr. Harper said.
Mr. Harper, however, says the carbon tax will wreck more than the economy. He said it would represent a power grab by the federal government that would alienate the provinces. “It would recentralize money and power in Ottawa."
Mr. Dion punched back at Mr. Harper on Thursday, telling the Saint John Board of Trade that he doesn't have to take any lessons in national unity from the Conservative leader.
He said too that he didn't believe Mr. Harper "understands Canada."
The Liberal Green Shift plan would levy taxes on fossil fuels and return the revenue collected to Canadians in the form of income-tax cuts.