Saturday, July 20, 2024

Doug Ford proposes referendum on any new provincial carbon tax

Mississauga (Feb 13) – The Doug Ford government announced it is introducing legislation that, if passed, would give Ontarians a direct say over a new provincial carbon tax, cap-and-trade system or other carbon pricing program.

This proposed legislation would require the province to first obtain the consent of Ontario voters through a referendum before implementing a new provincial carbon pricing program.

“With the Bank of Canada’s high interest rates and the cost of living still so high, it’s never been more important to keep costs down for people and businesses,” said Premier Doug Ford. “I’ve always said, the carbon tax is the worst tax. It increases the cost of everything. We need to protect Ontario workers and families from the high cost of a carbon tax and we urge the federal government to do the same.”

Meanwhile the province is continuing to urge the federal government to apply the same carve out on home heating that was provided to Atlantic Canadian provinces or to eliminate the federal carbon tax entirely.

“We made a promise to fight the federal carbon tax and our government will continue to lead by example, giving Ontarians certainty that carbon pricing on the backs of taxpayers is not the way forward,” said Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance. “Any new provincial carbon tax is unacceptable for Ontario residents who are seeing their hard-earned dollars stretched further than ever.”

This measure is part of upcoming legislation that will kick off the spring sitting of the legislature on February 20.

In compliance with the federal Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, two forms of carbon pricing currently exist in Ontario: the Emissions Performance Standards (EPS) program for industrial emitters, and the federal fuel charge, which increases the cost of various types of transportation and heating fuels used by households and enterprises, including gasoline, diesel, natural gas, and propane.

To help Ontario families and businesses keep costs down, the government extended the gas and fuel tax rate cuts through to June 30, 2024.

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