There is an old adage that “you can’t fight city hall.”
Premier Doug Ford and his Conservative government learned recently, in most cases, this rings true when challenging the federal government as well.
Since taking office in June 2018, Ford has promoted himself as a cavalier opponent of the Trudeau government’s carbon tax.
In a split decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal quashed Ontario’s challenge of the federal tax, stating it was indeed constitutional.
The Ford government argued the Liberal plan to put a price on carbon was meddling in provincial affairs, and thus a violation of the Constitution.
The PCs launched a public campaign against the carbon tax, while also requiring Ontario gas stations to put notices on pumps warning the carbon tax would increase costs for drivers.
Some criticized the Ford government for using public funds to promote its legal agenda.
Ford has vowed to continue to challenge the federal government, but at this point is it really worth it?
It is clear the government will not go back to the former “cap and trade” program, often erroneously called a tax by Ford and his supporters, but this should not be a hill the Premier is willing to die on.
The debate over the validity of climate change is not a factor, as the Trudeau government has made it a point to push, and the provinces must fall in line and develop an individual plan, or accept the carbon tax.
Andrew Scheer has pledged his first act if elected Prime Minister would be to scrap the carbon tax, so for Ford and the like-minded, this could be a very short-term setback.
Ford’s popularity is waning in Ontario, because of the cuts he’s trying to make to get the province financially back on track.
It’s admirable our Premier sees himself as a man standing up against the alleged “draconian” federal government, and the carbon tax is just another one of those money grab schemes, but maybe it’s time to put his energies into the issues in his own jurisdiction.