POLITICS
10/22/2019 17:51 EDT

Justin Trudeau Win Puts Doug Ford In Tough Spot On Carbon Tax

The Ontario premier previously said he’d “move on” once Canadians had their say at the ballot box.

HuffPost composite/Canadian Press/Premier of Ontario YouTube
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau celebrates winning the most seats in the 2019 election in Montreal Monday night; Ontario Premier Doug Ford addresses a meeting of provincial police in the Blue Mountains Tuesday.

He said Canadians would make their choice at the ballot box. 

“This carbon tax, it’s not going to be the courts that are going to decide,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Aug. 22. 

“The people are going to decide when the election is held … Once the people decide, I believe in democracy, I respect democracy, we move on.”

Ford made those comments just five days before his government announced it would take its constitutional challenge of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax all the way to the Supreme Court. A lower court had ruled against Ontario to let the tax stand. 

One day after Trudeau was handed another mandate — albeit with a minority Parliament — Ford’s staff would not say if he might drop the challenge. 

Watch Justin Trudeau celebrates winning the most seats Monday. Story continues after video.

 

“Our government’s focus has been making life more affordable for Ontarians, and we hope the federal government will work with us to ensure we are tackling important issues like climate change with real and effective solutions, while making sure our province is a place people and businesses can continue to prosper,” Ford spokesperson Ivana Yelich told HuffPost Canada by email Tuesday.

“As we evaluate the results of the Federal Election ... we will continue to discuss our government’s efforts to fight the federal carbon tax.”

The premier congratulated Trudeau on his win during a speech at the Ontario Provincial Police’s annual general meeting. He did not take questions. 

We will continue to discuss our government’s efforts to fight the federal carbon tax.Doug Ford spokesperson Ivana Yelich

“I want to congratulate the prime minister on his re-election and all the federal party leaders who ran an exceptional campaign. It doesn’t matter what party you come from … it takes a lot of courage to put your name in the hat,” Ford said.

“Unfortunately, there’s only one winner.”

Higgs relents on carbon tax

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs has already relented on the carbon tax because of Trudeau’s win. 

His government will implement an emissions reduction plan that satisfies the federal government’s requirements, Higgs said Tuesday.

“People voted for it, so we in New Brunswick have to find a way to make it work,” he said at a news conference.

Ford became a central figure in Canada’s federal election despite the fact that he consistently refused to weigh in. Trudeau mentioned his name almost every day in an effort to connect the Tory premier to federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer. The Liberal leader accused the premier of keeping his plans for Ontario secret during the 2018 provincial campaign and of causing labour unrest in the education system. 

“I think the guy loves me or something, ’cause he constantly mentions my name,” Ford said at one point.

GEOFF ROBINS via Getty Images
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer speaks at a press conference in Regina, on Oct. 22, 2019.

Scheer said Tuesday that it would be difficult for the prime minister to work with Ontario now.

“Trudeau should consider the fact that he just spent the last 40 days personally attacking and demonizing the premier of Ontario,” Scheer said.

“And now we have a country that is more divided than ever and it is up to him now to try to find a path to work cooperatively with provincial governments that he has just spent the last 40 days … personally demonizing.”

Throughout the entire campaign, Ford refused to fight back. 

“I know you wanna see me scrap it out with the feds,” he told reporters last week in Kenora, Ont. after they asked about Trudeau’s attacks repeatedly. 

“I’m just not doing it.”

With files from Ryan Maloney and The Canadian Press

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