Bonnie Crombie won’t introduce provincial carbon tax if elected premier

Ontario Liberal Leader Bonnie Crombie has ruled out a provincial carbon tax if elected in 2026. As Tina Yazdani reports, the Ford government says the announcement falls short of addressing her position on the federal carbon tax.

By Richard Southern and The Canadian Press

Ontario’s Liberal leader says she will not introduce a provincial carbon tax if she is elected premier in the 2026 election.

“Let me be very clear. A carbon tax will not be part of my plan. Instead, I want aggressive action to build up transit, invest in electric vehicle infrastructure, reform land use planning to build livable, walkable communities,” Bonnie Crombie said in a video posted to X on Monday.

However, it’s not clear if this means Crombie is against the federal carbon pricing mechanism, or if this means she’ll bring back the cap-and-trade program in order to subvert the federal carbon pricing.

Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy has called on Crombie to clarify her stance on the federal carbon tax.

“What’s her position on the federal carbon tax that the federal Liberal government is imposing on people?” he asked.

“There will be no carbon tax on Ontario families in the Ontario Liberal plan,” Liberal MPP John Fraser reiterated to CityNews.

When asked about whether the provincial Liberals support the federal carbon tax, Fraser wouldn’t confirm either way, but said, “it would be a fair thing to say” that the party is distancing itself from it.

“We wouldn’t increase carbon tax because we wouldn’t have one,” he added.

Premier Doug Ford’s government has been trying to link Crombie to the federal carbon price. The Progressive Conservatives have been running ads dubbing her the “queen of the carbon tax,” suggesting she championed the policy when she was a federal Liberal MP.

Last month, the province introduced a law requiring any future government to put a new provincial carbon pricing program to a referendum.

“People know where I stand on the carbon tax,” Ford said at the time. “I’ve opposed it from the very beginning. My record couldn’t be more different than Bonnie Crombie’s.”

The carbon pricing referendum legislation would only refer to provincial measures, not the federal carbon pricing system that went into effect in Ontario after Ford’s government cancelled the previous provincial Liberal government’s cap-and-trade program.

Crombie also announced she has put together a “Climate Action Panel” to lead consultations on the Liberals’ environmental platform ahead of the next provincial election.

“We will ensure major polluters pay, but we will not have an Ontario carbon tax on consumers,” she said in a statement.

The panel includes MPP Mary-Margaret McMahon, former Liberal environment and agriculture ministers, and the managing director of finance and resilience at the Intact Centre on Climate Adaption.

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