Doug Ford says his first act as Ontario premier will be to scrap the province’s cap-and-trade system and challenge federal rules on carbon pricing.
“After 15 years of being gouged at the pumps, gouged by high taxes and cap-and-trade, the people of Ontario want relief,” Ford said at a news conference at MacDonald Block in Toronto on Friday.
“Today I want to confirm that in Ontario, the carbon tax’s days are numbered.”
Ford said his new government will be sworn in on June 29, at which time he will take immediate action on ending cap-and-trade.
“Upon the swearing in of my new cabinet, at the top of our agenda, the very first item will be to pass an order to cancel the Liberal cap-and-trade carbon tax,” Ford said.
“As of June the 29th, the cap-and-trade, the carbon tax — they’re gone; they’re done.”
The premier-designate said he will give notice of the province’s withdrawal from the linked carbon pricing market with Quebec and California.
Ford said the government will provide clear rules for an “orderly wind down” of the system.
He said he will also instruct the new attorney general to begin a challenge of the federal government’s rules requiring provinces to have carbon pricing in place.
Ford said eliminating the cap-and-trade system will help him deliver on a campaign promise to cut gasoline prices by 10 cents per litre.
The cap-and-trade system aims to lower greenhouse gas emissions by putting caps on the amount of pollution companies in certain industries can emit. If they exceed those limits they must buy allowances at quarterly auctions or from other companies that come in under their limits.
However, Ford said cap-and-trade “does nothing for the environment. All it does it hurt small businesses and hurt families.”
Ontario has made close to $3 billion in a series of cap-and-trade auctions since the system was introduced by the Liberals last year.