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Ontario Premier Doug Ford slams April carbon tax hike, warns it could cost feds election


Ontario Premier Doug Ford urged the federal government to cancel or put a hold on the carbon tax ahead of a planned increase, warning that if they don’t, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau could get annihilated in the next election.

The comments were made at an unrelated news conference in Milton, Ont.

“The carbon tax is the worst tax ever put on a bunch of people,” Ford told reporters Friday.

“I can't believe the federal government is actually going to hike the gas tax.”

As of April 1, the price on carbon pollution will increase by $15 per tonne.

This is part of the federal government’s plan to increase the cost each year until 2030.

For gasoline, the Ontario government has said the federal carbon tax would increase costs at the pump from about 14.31 cents per litre to about 37.43 cents pre litre in 2030.

As of April, the tax in Ontario will be 17.71 cents.

“Guys, wake up. Smell the coffee. Like what don't you understand?” Ford asked in Milton, Ont.

“Cancel this carbon tax, put it on hold. Do whatever. And if you don't, the people of Canada are going to annihilate you when the election comes up. Simple as that.”

Ontario Premier Doug Ford makes an announcement and answers questions at a press conference in Mississauga, Ont., Tuesday, February 13, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

The premier’s comments come as the Canadian Federation of Independent Business launches a petition against changes that would see rebates to small and medium-sized establishments reduced to five per cent in 2024.

Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre will be in Toronto this weekend to protest the carbon tax hike. According to a letter sent to constituents,

“Trudeau and his NDP partner are planning a 23 per cent carbon tax hike on April 1st, on their path to quadruple it on heat, gas and groceries,” his campaign writes.

“Let’s spike the hike and axe the tax so you pay less and bring home more. It’s common sense.”

The Ford government is in the midst of passing legislation that would require a referendum take place in Ontario in the event that any future provincial government proposes their own carbon pricing program. It’s largely symbolic, as the next government has the option to repeal the legislation.

Canada’s price on pollution was established in 2019, and requires provinces territories to either establish a levy on greenhouse gas emissions or adopt the federal system.

Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, told reporters in Milton that the reason a carbon tax is necessary is because provinces have refused to come up with their own pollution pricing.

"The only reason that Ontarians pay a carbon tax is because Doug Ford cancelled cap and trade.”

The Ford government established a gas and fuel tax rate cut in response, something he says has saved households $260 on average since it was introduced in 2022.

The gas tax cut has been extended until June 30, 2024. Top Stories

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