No surprise, the forces of darkness (and of freezing in the dark) voted down a Conservative motion calling for the carbon tax to be suspended on "all forms of home heating," by 186 to 135.A little surprising however was that with them, the victorious Liberals had the Bloc Quebecois. So, first the prime minister divides the country into a tiny minority that doesn't have to pay the carbon tax on home-heating fuel and the majority that still has to. Then he turns to the great dividers themselves, the Bloc, to avoid losing the vote. Does he have no sense of irony? Opposition leader Pierre Poilievre certainly has one, and skewered him, not that the prime minister was there in the House of Commons to receive it.Meanwhile, of all people to vote with them, the Conservatives had the NDP. We have long suspected that leader Jagmeet Singh is less than proud of the supporting role into which he has fallen for the last two years. Was he thereby trying to introduce a sliver of daylight between himself and the Liberals? If so, too little, too late.Finally, and unbelievably, one Liberal MP appeared to literally give the finger to the Conservatives, for having the gall to suggest that if any Canadians got a break on the carbon tax for home heating, all Canadians should get it. Liberal Avalon MP Ken McDonald says he was merely scratching his head, of course. Personally, I refrain from scratching my head at particularly sensitive moments where the gesture might be misunderstood — traffic stops, for example. But if I did, I would use my index finger, not my middle finger. Discerning readers may decide McDonald's intentions for themselves, here.A sorry business, then. All Canadians need relief this winter from carbon tax on home heating fuel. After all, to some extent, some Canadians can plan to drive less and thereby reduce carbon emissions. And it is true, as some green keeners say, that one can always put on a sweater. However, in sub-zero weather one can only turn down the thermostat so far before one risks damage to the house. Pipes don't take well to freezing.This matters. For people on fixed or low incomes especially, it's a significant cost. As the Canadian Taxpayers Federation calculates, "Removing the federal carbon tax from natural gas would save the average home about $300 this year and about $1,100 over three years." Exactly. A carbon tax can only modify behaviour by hurting people.Looking in on the premiers' meeting in Halifax earlier today, one caught a distilled glimpse of what the Trudeau Liberals need to do. Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe had it right: The (carbon reduction) policy was not the problem. The problem was the application of it.“This conversation is about fairness for Canadian families. There's jurisdictions up here that have made significant investments in hydropower, for example, and other types of electricity that are available for their residents in the early 80s. We made the investment in Saskatchewan converting from home heating oil to natural gas to the degree of about 85% of Saskatchewan residents now utilize natural gas and they deserve to be treated fairly with respect to the carbon tax.”And Premier Danielle Smith rightly says the same thing of Alberta.They'll never do it, because there's too much pride and blind ideology at stake now. But the smartest thing for the Trudeau Liberals to do now would be simply to suspend the carbon tax for home-heating fuel, for all Canadians, pending a federal-provincial negotiation over the entire approach to carbon reduction. That would be fair. And with all the premiers on side to reduce carbon emissions, it might even be effective. What happened in the House of Commons today was neither.