Doug Ford wasting public money on anti-carbon tax campaign, Green Party leader says
'This is such an appalling, irresponsible use of our tax dollars,' Mike Schreiner says
Ontario's only Green Party MPP called on the Doug Ford government on Tuesday to stop spending public money on a partisan campaign to fight the federal carbon tax.
Mike Schreiner, who represents the riding of Guelph and is the leader of the Ontario Greens, told reporters at Queen's Park in Toronto on Tuesday that the politically motivated campaign is designed to sabotage "climate solutions."
Premier Doug Ford is making the climate crisis a "real wrestling match at the pumps" that will not lower greenhouse gas emissions, he said.
"This is such an appalling, irresponsible use of our tax dollars and I am calling on the premier to put an end to it," he said. "This is wrong and it's an irresponsible waste of your tax dollars."
On Monday and Tuesday, Ford joined Environment Minister Rod Phillips at events to denounce the carbon tax.
Schreiner said Ford doesn't have a mandate to spend millions of tax dollars on attempts to undermine the carbon tax through the campaign. Ford has not said how much the province is spending on this advertising.
Premier 'misleading the people of Ontario'
Ford's government joined Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer's anti-carbon tax campaign after it was elected last June and signed on to the legal fight against the tax, which is led by Saskatchewan.
On Monday, the federal government imposed a carbon tax on greenhouse gas-emitting fuels in four provinces that have refused to take part in their plan: Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick.
Environment Minister Rod Phillips, in response, vowed that the province "will use every tool at our disposal to challenge" it.
"Our government is fighting against the carbon tax because it hurts seniors, workers, families and small businesses," Premier Ford's office wrote in an emailed statement Tuesday to CBC News.
"From day one, we have said we would fight this job-killing tax with every tool at our disposal. We are following through on our promise to fight for the people and protect workers, seniors and families from the federal Liberal carbon tax," the statement reads.
"This fight is just beginning and we look forward to sharing details about our next steps in the days ahead."
Schreiner said Ford is promoting myths about pollution pricing. It is not job-killing and economy-destroying, he said.
"It is simply incorrect and it's misleading the people of Ontario to suggest in any way that putting a price on pollution is bad for economy, bad for jobs or bad for their pocketbooks."
With files from Emmett Shane