David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford are in a political scrap over climate change policy and how much provinces need to do to reach Paris climate accord goals.
The conflict was obvious at this week’s First Minister’s Meeting in Montreal, a twice-year event when Trudeau meets with the provincial premiers. On Friday, Trudeau insisted that Canada achieve a 30 percent reduction in fossil fuel emissions by 2030 and “put a price on pollution.”
Ford said while his provincial plan will meet that objective without the carbon tax that Trudeau wants to impose on all Canadians, Trudeau presented him with “a little surprise” and that “the goal posts got changed.” (RELATED: Doug Ford Says Carbon Tax’s Days Are Numbered In Ontario)
Ford explained, “The goal posts got changed when I said it doesn’t matter how we get there, as long as we hit 30 percent. What I was told by the prime minister is, ‘Well no, that’s no longer the case now,’ after we agreed to 30 percent. Some will carry more water than other provinces.”
Ford added, “That sets uncertainty in our economy.”
His government has unleashed a legislative reversal of many of the province’s climate change policies. Soon after taking office, Ford scrapped the cap and trade deal it had with neighboring Quebec and the state of California. He ended a green energy plan that invested billions in solar and wind power schemes that can never satisfy the province’s huge energy needs. (RELATED: Doug Ford Joins ‘Make Alberta Great Again’ Anti-Carbon Tax Rally)
According to City News, Ford’s latest battle with the Trudeau government is due to the previous Ontario government of Liberal Kathleen Wynne agreeing to a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting wrapped up, Trudeau admitted, “On the issue of climate change, I think it’s clear that Premier Ford and I differ on this matter. I believe we have to put a price on pollution. Premier Ford put forth a plan that represents a step backwards … he thinks we should make pollution free again.”