In a controversial but unsurprising move, Ontario Premier-designate Doug Ford today announced that his cabinet’s first act following the swearing-in of his government will be to cancel Ontario’s current cap-and-trade scheme, and challenge the federal government’s authority to impose a carbon tax on the people of Ontario.
“I made a promise to the people that we would take immediate action to scrap the cap-and-trade carbon tax and bring their gas prices down,” said Ford. “Today, I want to confirm that as a first step to lowering taxes in Ontario, the carbon tax’s days are numbered.”
Ford also announced that Ontario would be serving notice of its withdrawal from the joint agreement linking Ontario, Quebec and California’s cap-and-trade markets as well as the pro-carbon tax Western Climate Initiative. The Premier-designate confirmed that he has directed officials to immediately take steps to withdraw Ontario from future auctions for cap-and-trade credits. The government will provide clear rules for the orderly wind down of the cap-and-trade program.
Finally, Ford announced that he will be issuing specific directions to his incoming attorney general to use all available resources at the disposal of the government to challenge the federal government’s authority to impose a carbon tax.
This brings the Ontario government into a head-to-head conflict with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal federal government, whose federal climate action plan requires all provinces to introduce carbon pricing and imposes an explicit price-based carbon pricing system on jurisdictions that do not meet the federal government’s benchmark
“Eliminating the carbon tax and cap-and-trade is the right thing to do and is a key component in our plan to bring your gas prices down by 10 cents per litre,” said Ford. “It also sends a clear message that things are now different. No longer will Ontario’s government answer to insiders, special interests and elites. Instead, we will now have a government for the people. Help is here.”
Manning Environmental Law is a Canadian law firm based in Toronto, Ontario. Our practice is focussed on environmental law, energy law and aboriginal law.
Paul Manning is a certified specialist in environmental law. He has been named as one of the World’s Leading Environmental Lawyers and one of the World’s Leading Climate Change Lawyers by Who’s Who Legal.
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