Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday June 21, 2018
When the real carbon tax is imposed, you can thank Doug Ford
The carbon tax is dead.
Just one problem — Ontario has never had a carbon tax.
Now, thanks to Doug Ford, we may be about to get one.
When a beaming Ford boasted to reporters Friday that “the carbon tax’s days are numbered” in Ontario — counting the days to his swearing-in as premier on June 29 — he was playing with words, as politicians do, whether or not they’ve taken the oath of office.
No, there is no carbon tax. Yes, Ontario has had a “cap-and-trade” system that put a price on carbon since 2017 — not by taxing people, but by making companies pay for spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Far from killing a (non-existent) carbon tax, Ontario’s incoming Progressive Conservative government is laying the groundwork for a brand new carbon tax of its own making. That’s because, as Ford’s very own Ontario PC Party acknowledged last year, Ottawa fully intends to impose a carbon tax in any province without a plan to fight global warming.
We live in interesting times when a U.S. president can unilaterally declare peace with a North Korean dictator while declaring war on a Canadian prime minister. Now, taking a page from Donald Trump, Ford is serving notice that he, too, is ready to do battle with Justin Trudeau.
Ontario’s incoming premier has set aside $30 million to fight a losing legal battle over Ottawa’s undisputed right to regulate the environment with carbon pricing. Virtually all legal and constitutional experts believe the federal government has an airtight case. But even if Ford’s Tories believe they have a stronger case, shouldn’t they level with the people of Ontario about the risk of losing in court?
Litigation, like politics, is inherently unpredictable. You can’t prevail in the Supreme Court of Canada merely by repeating campaign slogans. (Continued: Hamilton Spectator)