Doug Ford defends decision to continue carbon tax challenge
Premier Doug Ford defended his decision to challenge the federal carbon tax in Canada’s top court, telling the Ontario Legislature that he was elected with a different mandate than the federal government.
“We have a great (environmental) plan—but that plan does not include taxing the people of Ontario, taxing businesses,” Ford declared during Question Period Monday.
Ahead of this month’s federal election Ford told journalists he would “respect democracy” and suggested that should Justin Trudeau be re-elected, he would drop the multi-million dollar fight.
“This carbon tax, it’s not going to be the courts that decide. The people are going to decide when the election is held. Once the people decide, I believe in democracy, I respect democracy, we move on,” Ford said during an Aug. 23 news conference.
The Federal Liberals – which campaigned on carbon pricing – won 41.5 per cent of the popular vote in Ontario during last week’s election, taking 79 of the province 121 seats.
Ford, by contrast, won 40.5 per cent of the popular vote in Ontario, taking 76 seats in the legislature.
Despite Trudeau being given a stronger and more recent mandate by Ontario voters – Ford suggested he’s going to follow through with his mandate.
“We didn’t run on making the carbon tax that will cost families another $700 more a year. They just can’t afford it,” Ford told politicians.
Energy Minister Greg Rickford says the government will also continue its sticker campaign – gas station owners are legally obligated to display the government’s carbon tax stickers on gas pumps or else face increasing fines.
“Consumers have the right to know where those cost pressures are,” Rickford told reporters after Question Period.
Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner says continuing the fight would only continue to “poison” the relationship with the federal government.
“It’s a complete contradiction,” Schreiner said. “For the premier to say we’re going to change the tone, we’re going to have better relations with the federal government – and they continue with this politically motivated lawsuit?”
“It makes absolutely no sense.”