Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Tuesday he will “look into” a long-promised gas tax cut while also calling out the carbon tax for negating previous savings his government tried to implement for drivers.
In the 2018 provincial election, one of Ford’s key promises was to lower gas prices by 10 cents per litre including the fuel tax cut and eliminating the cap-and-trade system, a move that was meant to lower prices by 4.3 cents.
The province eliminated the cap-and-trade system, but that triggered the federal carbon tax, negating the 4.3 cent cut.
Ford was asked about his government’s promise to lower gas prices at a press conference Tuesday morning. As recently as November, Ford said the government would meet its promise to cut prices by 5.7 cents per litre by the next budget, which is due at the end of March.
Gas prices have reached record levels throughout Canada in recent weeks.
In response to a reporter’s question regarding the provincial fuel tax, the premier called out the federal carbon tax.
“I called out the prime minister. He needs to lower the taxes,” Ford said.
“He needs to lower this carbon tax, and he needs to cut … the carbon tax, bottom line. Because we cut already four and a half cents off of gas prices and the carbon tax came along and it went right back up.”
Ford said the carbon tax is a “terrible, terrible tax on the backs of the people of Ontario.”
“This automatic increase of the carbon tax is going to kill us,” he said.
His government previously unsuccessfully fought the carbon tax in court.
The premier was asked a second time about his promise regarding the gas tax and would only say his government would “look into” the move.
“We’re here to put money back into people’s pockets, always, right across the board,” Ford said.
“We need to work cooperatively and collaboratively with the federal government. Rather than taxing people non-stop, why don’t we put money back into their pockets to make it more affordable to be able to live?…
“The worst place to give your money is the government. You know, I always believe each and every one of you can spend that money a lot wiser than we can.”
At Tuesday’s press conference, Ford announced the elimination of the province’s licence plate sticker renewal fee.
— With files from The Canadian Press