Ford to Scrap Ontario's Carbon System in Challenge to Trudeau

17 June, 2018, 20:25 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • Doug Ford says he'll scrap the province's cap-and-trade program right after getting sworn in as Ontario's premier

Doug Ford says that while he may clash with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on issues like carbon pricing, he will stand side by side with the federal government when it comes to worldwide trade and protecting Canadian jobs. The federal government also has "clear" jurisdiction to apply a federal pollution price if Ontario changes its system, she said.

"Today, I want to confirm that in Ontario the carbon tax's days are numbered", he said.

Kingston mayor Bryan Paterson says he hasn't seen any signs from the new provincial government that funding promises won't be honoured: "All the conversations we've had with the provincial government so far have been very positive, and so again we're certainly not concerned at this point".

During the spring election campaign, Ford's team estimated challenging the federal carbon tax in court would cost taxpayers $30 million over four years. The carbon tax in Ontario was introduced by a government that was so popular that it won all of seven seats in the last provincial election, and lost its official party status. Because with so many jobs at stake, we must stand united.

Ford said eliminating the cap-and-trade system will help him deliver on a campaign promise to cut gasoline prices by 10 cents per litre. Ontario businesses are literally invested in cap-and-trade, having bought over $2.8 billion in permits. Trudeau's government is bringing in carbon pricing rules to cover all provinces and a "backstop" for local governments that don't come up with their own plans this year.

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Ford said his top priority is to protect jobs in Ontario, including those of steel and aluminum workers in the province. The Tories could have kept the program in place but exempted gas distributors who could have then lowered their prices by four or five cents. "The Ontario government will need to find billions of dollars to buy back those permits, or risk being sued", the statement said.

Premier-designate Doug Ford also said he would challenge Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's authority to make local governments put a price on greenhouse gas emissions.

"Ontario should lead in the low-carbon economy that will save money and lives, not return to failed environmental policies that resulted in the Walkerton disaster".

"By abandoning action on climate change, Doug Ford is simply raising the extreme weather tax which is already wrecking homes, crops and public infrastructure", said Keith Stewart, a senior energy strategist with Greenpeace Canada.

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