In Canada, they are being closely watched — with a hint of glee, perhaps — by those who see a parallel between Macron’s fuel tax and Trudeau’s carbon tax
OTTAWA — After weeks of protests that saw tens of thousands of people in the streets, culminating in the worst rioting Paris has seen in a decade, the French government backed down Tuesday and promised to delay a fuel tax hike slated for January.
President Emmanuel Macron had previously insisted that the tax increase would go ahead. But Macron was under growing pressure to calm the “gilets jaunes” protests, particularly after the weekend, when rioters torched cars, burned buildings, looted stores and scrawled graffiti on the Arc de Triomphe.
In Canada, the protests are being closely watched — with a hint of glee, perhaps — by those who see a parallel between Macron’s fuel tax and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax, to be applied next year to provinces that don’t have their own carbon price in place.
“The massive opposition to ever higher carbon taxes is what happens when ordinary people are pushed into energy poverty by political elites,” Alberta United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney tweeted Sunday, quickly following up to say he doesn’t condone the violence.
But are there really similarities between the situations in France and Canada? The answer, it seems, is sort of — but only sort of.
Yes and no.
The “gilets jaunes” (yellow vests) protests began as demonstrations against a planned increase in the tax on vehicle fuel, a measure designed to help France meet its commitment to cut carbon emissions by 40 per cent by 2030. Macron had already increased the fuel tax this year by 11 cents per litre for diesel and six cents for gasoline, and was planning a further increase of 10 cents per litre for diesel and four cents for gasoline in January.

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