Kevin O’Leary promises to scrap the carbon tax if elected prime minister

Newly announced Federal Conservative leadership candidate Kevin O'Leary arrives at a television studio for an interview in Toronto on Wednesday January 18, 2017.
Newly announced Federal Conservative leadership candidate Kevin O'Leary arrives at a television studio for an interview in Toronto on Wednesday January 18, 2017. Chris Young / The Canadian Press

Conservative Party leadership candidate Kevin O’Leary is promising to eliminate the carbon tax within days of his arrival in office if he’s elected as prime minister.

“Repeal the carbon tax as fast as I can – everywhere,” he said while speaking with News Talk 770’s Andrew Lawton on Friday.

“I’ll put in place a system that’s far more productive in getting innovation and keeping down emissions that does not penalize businesses.”

“This game being played in Alberta and Ontario is crap.”

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The financial tycoon said he will eradicate every one of Justin Trudeau’s policies after taking up residence at 24 Sussex Drive.

“You will not remember his name after I arrive there,” he said.

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O’Leary said he believes there are some fantastic people in the caucus but the key is to find the right person for the job. He accused Trudeau of “settling for mediocrity” and told Canadians not to expect the same from him.

“He has a complete chess board of mediocrity, moves them around like chess pieces and they fail at every mandate,” he said.

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O’Leary’s former Dragon’s Den co-star suggested O’Leary may not be the right man for the job.

Shortly after speaking with the Shark Tank star, Andrew Lawton was joined by Arlene Dickinson, who said she doesn’t think the Conservative Party can count on him to stick around if he isn’t successful.

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“What is [your] platform, what are [your] policies? There’s just a lot of name-calling and frankly just dismissal … without any kind of solutions,” she said. “It’s easy to be a critic; it’s not so easy to be a leader.”
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Dickinson called her former colleague “opportunistic” but declined to comment on his business acumen.

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For his part, O’Leary expressed disappointment in the way Trudeau has handled the idea of potential NAFTA negotiations following the election and subsequent inauguration of Donald Trump as U.S. president.

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Trump, who was sworn in as U.S. President on Friday, has promised to tear up or push for renegotiation of the free-trade pact and Trudeau has said his government would be willing to put NAFTA back on the table.

“Trudeau made a big mistake by making noise about NAFTA, because Trump would have dealt with Mexico and China first, leaving us out of the fray,” he said.

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“Now he’s woken up the giant … and now he’s going to have to deal with it a lot sooner than he had to.”

O’Leary reiterated his promise to deliver a majority mandate and to “fire” Justin Trudeau and all his decision makers.

“Do not paint 24 Sussex Drive until my wife can see the colours,” he quipped.

He said trade and finance are areas where he would like to “get his hands” dirty and said his job as prime minister would be to shrink the deficit. He also promised to use transfer payments as punishment for provinces that don’t get in line on his economic policies.

“You want to keep a carbon tax on? No problem. You want to make your people less competitive? No problem. I will just deduct that from the transfer payment.”