Doug Ford says the Liberals’ carbon tax will plunge Canada into recession

TORONTO — Premier Doug Ford ratcheted up his rhetoric on Ottawa’s climate change plan Monday, warning that the carbon tax will plunge the country into recession — a claim disputed by experts and the federal government.

During a speech at the Economic Club of Canada, the Ontario premier said there were already warning signs of difficult economic times ahead and a carbon tax would kill jobs and hurt productivity.

“I’m here today to ring the warning bell that the risk of a carbon tax recession is very, very real,” Ford said.

The Progressive Conservative government scrapped Ontario’s cap-and-trade system after it was elected last spring, calling it a ”cash grab” that didn’t help the environment, and have since launched a legal challenge of Ottawa’s carbon pricing plan.

The federal carbon tax, which goes into effect April 1, will affect Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and New Brunswick, which have not adopted their own carbon pricing plans.

Ford said Ontario does not need a carbon tax to help it reach its emission targets, pointing to his government’s new climate change plan introduced late last year.

Under its plan, Ontario will use taxpayer dollars to spur private investment in clean technologies and create performance standards for large emitters. The province will spend $400 million over four years on a fund called the Ontario Carbon Trust, which aims to entice companies to invest in initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Ford renewed his calls for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government to abandon its plan to put a price on carbon.

“A carbon tax will be a total economic disaster, not only for our province but for our entire country,” he said. “There are already economic warning signs on the horizon.”

A spokeswoman for federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said the federal government’s plan will cut emissions and grow the economy.

“Doug Ford’s only plan is to make it free to pollute and hope for the best,” Sabrina Kim said in a statement. ”It’s disappointing, but shouldn’t be surprising — conservative politicians have no plan to protect the environment, no plan to grow the economy, and no plan for the future of our country.”

University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe said there is no “credible analysis” to support Ford’s claim that the federal carbon tax will cause a recession. The introduction of the carbon price will slow economic growth, but not by enough to create such a profound impact on the country, he said.

“Politicians are going to engage in hyperbole, that’s what they’re best at on all sides of the political spectrum,” he said. “But there is no reason to believe that the federal carbon price would result in a recession.”

Dave Sawyer, an economist with the firm EnviroEconomics, also disputed Ford’s statement. Economic projections based on the federal carbon price show it will only slow economic growth slightly, he said.

“The modelling that has been done on the federal carbon price shows very small national impacts,” he said. “It’s in the order of .02 per cent when the economy is growing at two per cent a year.”

Green party Leader Mike Schreiner said it’s “dangerous and disappointing” to see the premier mislead people when it comes to carbon pricing.

“Although I was not a big of the Liberals’ cap-and-trade plan, Ontario had its lowest unemployment rate in 18 years with pollution pricing in place,” he said.

Greenpeace Canada slammed Ford’s remarks, saying the effects of climate change can’t be ignored.

“We need a government committed to supporting much-needed jobs building electric vehicles, installing solar panels and other climate solutions rather than trying to boost sales of gasoline,” said Keith Stewart, a senior energy strategist for Greenpeace Canada.

Just Posted

NEB gives Trans Mountain pipeline expansion its endorsement

CALGARY — The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the… Continue reading

Regulator’s report unlikely to settle Trans Mountain pipeline expansion battle

CALGARY — An environmental group that tried to widen the scope of… Continue reading

Red Deer firefighter is recovering, thanks community for support

Firefighters who help together, stick together. Red Deer firefighter medic Ben Barthel,… Continue reading

Biathlon women sweep the podium for second time

Biathlon women took top four spots in Thursday’s 10-km race

Zion’s freak injury ripples in basketball, business worlds

DURHAM, N.C. — Soon after Zion Williamson’s shoe ripped apart, Nike’s stock… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: Must-have wardrobe basics

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

‘Napalm Girl’ to discuss journey from hatred to forgiveness

Latest Herr Lecture to feature Kim Phuc Phan Thi at LMC

Rabbits saved from barn fire in Ponoka County

The Ponoka County East District Fire Department was called to a barn fire

Abel begins diving season on brink of record for most worlds medals

MONTREAL — Jennifer Abel could make history this summer in Gwangju, South… Continue reading

On eve of return to Toronto, former Raptors star DeRozan says he’s “moved on”

TORONTO — DeMar DeRozan has found closure. When the player once fondly… Continue reading

ACTRA to honour actress Jayne Eastwood who says being on set is her ‘happy place’

TORONTO — Looking back on her five decades in show business, Toronto… Continue reading

If proven, Smollett allegations could be a ‘career killer’

LOS ANGELES — Jussie Smollett is enmeshed in weekly drama on the… Continue reading

Ponoka host to Bayer Crop Science seed innovations trade show

The company held a trade show with seed crop science industry partners at the ag event centre

Gaudreau snaps goal drought to help Flames double up Islanders 4-2

CALGARY — The drought is over for Johnny Gaudreau. Gaudreau’s first goal… Continue reading

Most Read