Liberals' carbon tax will plunge Canada into recession: Ford

Liberals' carbon tax will plunge Canada into recession: Ford

Ontario Premier Doug Ford set tongues wagging at a speech to a business audience Monday, warning that Justin Trudeau's plan for a carbon tax will lead to a "carbon tax recession".

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 previous year.

During a speech at the Economic Club of Canada, the Ontario premier said there are already warning signs of hard economic times ahead and a carbon tax will kill jobs and hurt productivity on a national scale. "It doesn't mean the carbon price is causing the growth but what it does mean is we can definitely rule out the case that a carbon price causes a recession".

Ford has always been a critic of the carbon tax claiming it will kill jobs in Ontario, in particular manufacturing. "But you can't be for both".

Ontario Environment Minister Rod Phillips was unable to provide proof to back up the claim when pressed by reporters, but maintained that the tax is bad for the economy.

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"It took Doug Ford barely six months to get Ontario's credit rating downgraded because he cut taxes for his wealthy friends", Leblanc said in a statement. "It's disappointing, but shouldn't be surprising - conservative politicians have no plan to protect the environment, no plan to grow the economy and no plan for the future of our country". His government's policy does include a type of pollution pricing adopted from the federal plan. Saskatchewan and Ontario have launched court challenges of the federal plan.

"The risk of a carbon tax recession is very real". Economic projections based on the federal carbon price show it will only slow economic growth slightly, he said. She said Mr. Ford is "creating a crisis and scare-mongering".

Trever Tombe, an associate economics professor at the University of Calgary, said all climate action imposes a cost on households - but carbon taxes, on average, have the lowest.

"It's completely baseless to say that the carbon tax would cause a recession", he said. "We specifically describe the overall economic impact as 'small"'.

"Even the federal government, their analysis finds the carbon tax will have a negative impact on the economy", Phillips said.

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