Doug Ford says the Liberals' carbon tax will plunge Canada into recession

Premier Doug Ford spoke at the Economic Club of Canada on Monday

Premier Doug Ford spoke at the Economic Club of Canada on Monday

Ontario's premier is defending his claims that a federal carbon tax will cause Canada to plunge into recession after the federal government and economists said he was incorrect.

"The threat of a carbon tax recession is real", Ford wrote on Twitter.

The province has joined Saskatchewan and New Brunswick in fighting the federally-imposed carbon tax calling it unconstitutional in separate court challenges.

"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.

In his address to the Economic Club of Canada today, the premier said there are already warning signs of hard economic times ahead.

When asked if Mr. Ford has any experts to back up his claim, his office pointed to a 2018 report from the Conference Board of Canada that said a federal carbon tax could shrink Canada's GDP by as much as $3-billion.

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"I would be highly skeptical that a moderate carbon tax alone (especially if it is truly revenue neutral) could cause a recession", said Doug Porter, Chief Economist at BMO. The province will spend $400 million over four years on a fund called the Ontario Carbon Trust, which aims to entice companies to invest in initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"Even the federal government, their analysis finds the carbon tax will have a negative impact on the economy", Phillips said. The introduction of the carbon price will slow economic growth, but not by enough to create such a profound impact on the country, he said. Prof. Oleiwer said B.C.'s carbon tax, implemented in 2008, has never been associated with lower economic activity.

Ford renewed his calls for the Trudeau government to abandon its plan to put a price on carbon.

Greenpeace Canada slammed Ford's remarks, saying the effects of climate change can't be ignored.

"It is simply not true that pricing pollution causes a recession", Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner said in a statement.

The executive director of Canada's EcoFiscal Commission, a panel of non-partisan economists, said Canadians need to have a "good faith" conversation about carbon pricing during a federal election year. "But there is no reason to believe that the federal carbon price would result in a recession".

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