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Ford government promising to enforce fines for anti-carbon tax stickers

Last Updated Aug 23, 2019 at 12:55 pm EDT

Premier Doug Ford says his government will enforce fines and penalties against gas station owners who don’t display controversial stickers related to the federal carbon tax.

Owners have been receiving the anti-carbon tax stickers in the mail along with a letter detailing how they must be prominently displayed on their pumps and a warning they could be subjected to charges under the Provincial Offences Act if they don’t comply.

The stickers will have to be displayed as of August 30, ahead of the Labour Day long weekend.

“We have the responsibility to tell the people of Ontario where their money’s going,” Ford said during a media availability on Friday when asked about the fines. “We will enforce them if these gas stations aren’t putting them up. And it’s not going to be $10,000, it’s going to be less than $500.”

Individual owners will be fined $500 per day for a first offence and $1,000 per day per second offence. For corporate-owned stations, a first-time offence will cost them $5,000, after that it’s $10,000 a day.

There is also a fine of up to $10,000 if someone attempts to obstruct the inspection of a gas station for the notice.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association says they will be challenging the government’s mandatory anti-carbon tax gas stickers in court.

They say forcing gas stations to post them at pumps violates Freedom of Expression under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the stickers are a “compelled political message.”

The Canadian Independent Petroleum Marketers Association – which represents more than half of gas stations across Ontario and the country, have also pushed back against the stickers, saying they are concerned the stickers are a “one-sided partisan message.”

The carbon tax is expected cost to a typical household $258 this year and $648 by 2022.

Residents of provinces with the tax will be getting rebates on their income tax returns that start at $128 annually and increase for people with spouses or dependents at home. The federal government says a family of four in Ontario would get $307 this year.

Files from The Canadian Press were used in this report