Premier Doug Ford ratcheted up his rhetoric on Ottawa’s climate change plan Monday, warning that the federal government’s carbon tax will plunge the country into recession.
During a speech at the Economic Club of Canada, the Ontario premier said there are already warning signs of difficult economic times ahead and a carbon tax will 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,” he said.
The Progressive Conservative government scrapped Ontario’s cap-and-trade system after it was elected last spring saying it was a “cash grab” that didn’t help the environment and have since launched a legal challenge of the federal government’s carbon pricing plan.
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.
Ford renewed his calls for the Trudeau 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.”
Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna’s office did not immediately respond to request for comment.
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.