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Ford to legislate referendum on carbon tax programs

By Randy Thoms Feb 14, 2024 | 2:55 PM

The Ford government is preparing legislation that would require a referendum if future governments consider a provincial carbon tax or other carbon pricing program.

Premier Doug Ford is not a fan of such programs, calling them tax schemes.

Ford says if a government is going to introduce such a taxing program, the public deserves to have a say.

“There’s so many governments out there that said, ‘oh, I’m going to lower taxes,’ and they aren’t truthful with the people,” says Ford.

“They get in the office like the previous Liberal government and start jacking up the taxes, making it unaffordable. Let the people have a voice if it comes down to the carbon tax, and that’s what we’re going to do, make sure that we put into legislation that they’ll have to have a referendum.”

Ford notes the federal carbon tax is making life unaffordable.

He points to gasoline prices in Ontario ranging from $1.40 to $1.50 a litre, which equates between $3.93 and $4.21 a gallon U.S.

The average price south of the border today is about $3.07 a gallon.

In making the announcement, Ford took direct aim at Liberal leader Bonnie Crombie and her record on carbon tax programs.

“My record couldn’t be more different than Bonnie Crombie’s. She supported the carbon tax right from the start. She’s the queen of carbon tax. Even worse, she raised property taxes every year she was mayor,” states Ford.

“Bonnie has never seen a tax she wouldn’t like to hike. The last thing people need right now are higher taxes. They deserve relief.”

Ford also reiterated his call for an end to the federal program.

He says the tax adds more than $0.14 to a litre of gas.

An increase in April will bring the tax from 14.3 cents per litre to 17.6 cents.

“It needs to end. It’s driving up the cost of absolutely everything, adding hundreds, even thousands of additional dollars in costs on the backs of the hardworking people of Ontario. I’m a strong believer in protecting the environment by investing in clean, green steel, by building the electric vehicles of the future, by leading the largest transit expansion in North America, by building the future of clean nuclear energy, by expanding provincial parks, not by taxing hardworking people.”

Ford says legislation regarding the carbon tax referendum will be introduced when MPPs return to Queen’s Park next week.