Ford ‘going to pursue’ carbon tax challenge to Supreme Court

Doug Ford said Thursday his government is “going to pursue” its legal challenge of the federal carbon tax, days after Justin Trudeau’s Liberals secured another mandate in the form of a minority government.

Speaking in his first media interview since Monday’s election, Ford told CP24 “we will see it through” when asked about the fate of the challenge.

In June, Ontario’s top court struck down his government’s case against the tax, saying the federal legislation — the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, enacted in April — is constitutionally sound. The same day, the Ford government signalled its intention to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

But in August, Ford was more circumspect, saying he would consult with the provincial attorney general and cabinet after the federal election to determine the way forward on the file. At the time, he suggested that voters would be the ones to determine the fate of the challenge.

Ford had also previously said his government is committed to spending $30 million to challenge the tax.

On Tuesday, his congratulatory message to Trudeau remained mum on the carbon tax. Ford said only that he congratulated all federal party leaders “on a hard fought campaign.” He also said all three levels of government must work together on key issues that are priorities for Canadians, like affordability, housing and health care.

The federal government imposed a carbon-pricing scheme on Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan, all of which don’t have one of their own, earlier this year. The Supreme Court will hear Saskatchewan’s challenge of the tax in December. Alberta and Manitoba have also mounted court challenges to the tax, while New Brunswick has supported Saskatchewan’s challenge.

On Tuesday, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs said given the federal election results, voters have spoken on the issue of a carbon tax. The federal Liberals lost three seats to the Conservatives in the province, but retained six and garnered some 20,000 more votes than the Conservatives. As a result, Higgs said, his government will look at crafting a made-in-New Brunswick carbon pricing scheme that aligns with the federal Liberals’ climate plan.

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