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Trudeau challenged over carbon pricing on 2nd day of town hall tour

Trudeau challenged over carbon pricing on 2nd day of town hall tour

Prime minister hears frustration from rural resident over high hydro costs in Ontario

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gestures during a town hall meeting in Peterborough, Ont. Friday. Trudeau faced an emotional question about carbon pricing - and sparked some controversy with a comment about a "phase out" of the oilsands.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gestures during a town hall meeting in Peterborough, Ont. Friday. Trudeau faced an emotional question about carbon pricing – and sparked some controversy with a comment about a “phase out” of the oilsands. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was pressed to justify the implementation of a federal price on carbon during a town hall forum on the second day of his whirlwind outreach tour on Friday.

At a public meeting in Peterborough, Ont., Trudeau was asked by a woman struggling to pay her bills, amid high hydro costs in the province, why he was proceeding with a carbon price.

“I feel like you have failed me, and I’m asking you today to fix that,” said the woman, who later identified herself as Kathy Katula of Buckhorn, Ont. “My heat and hydro (electricity) now cost me more than my mortgage.”

“I’m asking you, Mr. Trudeau, how do you justify to a mother of four children, three grandchildren, with physical disabilities, and working up to 15 hours a day, how is it justified for you to ask me to pay a carbon tax when I only have $65 left in my paycheque every two weeks to feed my family,” she said to applause.

Defending his policy on climate change, Trudeau said Canada needs to make a transition away from fossil fuels, but that governments need to ensure that the most vulnerable are taken into account.

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