Source: Facebook

Ontario Liberal leader Bonnie Crombie has joined the growing chorus of political leaders across party lines opposing the carbon tax.

Crombie announced her party’s plan to address climate change in a two-minute video posted on X (formerly Twitter) Monday morning.

Her plan includes a Climate Action Panel involving families, scientists, environmentalists, and “other experts” to assist the Ontario Liberal policymakers address climate-related issues. However, she assured Canadians that her plan would not include a carbon tax.

“Instead, I want aggressive action to build up transit, invest in electric vehicle infrastructure, reform land use planning to build livable, walkable communities to protect our water and nature, green our energy grid, support our farmers, and find ways families can save money by helping our households become more energy efficient,” Crombie said.

Crombie began her announcement by criticizing the Ford government.

“This Conservative government has taken us backwards. They have no plan to fight climate change,” Crombie said.

A spokesperson for Ontario Environment Minister Andrea Khanjin disputed this in a statement to True North.

“Ontario continues to be a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Canada and is responsible for almost all of Canada’s progress towards its Paris Agreement goal,” the spokesperson said.

According to the Government of Canada website, Ontario’s emissions per capita are the third lowest in Canada, 43% below the national average.

Khanjin’s spokesperson said this was possible because of the government’s investment in green technology, such as green steel, which she says is the emissions reduction equivalent of taking one million cars off the road.

“Our government is also protecting over 400,000 acres of land through the recently expanded Greenlands Conservation Partnership while building critical infrastructure such as the Ontario Line, which will take 28,000 cars off the road daily.”

The Ontario Line will be a 5.6-kilometre subway line from the Exhibition Place, through downtown Toronto and to the Ontario Science Centre.

Franco Terrazzano, the federal director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, a non-profit advocacy group for lower taxes and less government waste, told True North in an interview that Crombie’s announcement is good news for Canada.

“What strikes me from the announcement today is that you have politicians from all parties leaving the sinking carbon tax ship. ” Terrazzano said.

Not only Crombie in Ontario but also the Liberal Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Andrew Furey, and NDP leadership hopefuls in Alberta have now distanced themselves from the federal government’s carbon pricing policies.

Terrazzano thinks seeing politicians across the political spectrum speak out against carbon taxes is a welcome sight.

“The carbon tax makes fueling your car to get the kids to school more expensive,  for you to heat your home and stay warm during the winter months and to buy groceries more expensive,” he said. “It taxes the farmer that grows the food and the driver that delivers the food, and it taxes families that buy the food.”

The taxpayer advocacy group released the results of a Leger poll that showed 69% of Canadians opposed the federal carbon tax hike on April 1.

Terrazzano attributed politicians’ move away from the carbon tax to the fact that most Canadians are against it now.

“Crombie should go a step further, pick up the phone, call Trudeau, and tell Trudeau not to raise the carbon tax again on April 1,” Terrazzano said.

He said that if the federal carbon tax is still in effect, the absence of a provincial one will not significantly change the situation.

“The federal government requires Canadians to pay their mandatory minimum carbon tax, so either the province has to put one in, or the federal government will bring one in,” he said.

According to the government’s independent, nonpartisan Parliamentary Budget Officer’s report, the carbon tax hike set for April 1 will cost the average Ontario household $600 more than they get back in rebates annually. In Alberta, that number is up to $900 yearly.