"Remarkable Turn of Events" or "Just Like That"?

"Remarkable Turn of Events" or "Just Like That"?

June 28, 2018

Tomorrow, Doug Ford will be sworn in as Ontario's 26th premier. But as Paola Loriggio of the Canadian Press writes, "the work on his key promises is already under way."

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the false prophecy of "experts" that predicted the Ontario PC Party could not win an election if they campaigned against carbon taxes. Click here if you missed it.

Two days later, Ford announced his new government's first priority would be to "cancel the Liberal cap-and-trade carbon tax" and "challenge the federal government carbon tax on Ontario families."

After a hard fought 17 months of the AxeTheCarbonTax.ca campaign, it goes without saying that this is a huge victory!

Prior to his announcement, some in the media ridiculed Ford's promise to "scrap the carbon tax" by claiming that Ontario's cap-and-trade scheme was not a carbon tax. On Twitter (@axethecarbontax), I reminded them that not only is Kathleen Wynne's cap-and-trade scheme a tax, it is also a racket!

This week, writer Candice Malcolm called it the same, in her Toronto Sun column entitled "Liberals' carbon tax racket is coming to an end."  

In her column, Malcolm summarized the turn of events in the national debate on carbon taxes by saying "just like that, the tables have turned in Canada."

But of course, we all know it didn't happen "just like that."

Rather, it was quite the ordeal!

As Anthony Furey described in the Toronto Sun last week, Ford's promise to end cap-and-trade "is quite a remarkable turn of events, given that it was only a year ago that former leader Patrick Brown was a vocal champion of carbon taxes. The PCs under Brown even went so far in their wrongheadedness as to banish anti-carbon tax activist Jim Karahalios from the party over his advocacy."

Not only was I banished, I was barred from entering Patrick Brown's convention, and I was refused a paid AxeTheCarbonTax.ca booth at the annual conference put on by the Manning Centre for Building Democracy.

And as the PC Party's new spokesperson, Jeff Silverstein, explained to QP Briefing this week:

"In 2017, when Patrick Brown was leader of the PC Party, the Superior Court threw out a legal case launched by the PC Party against Jim Karahalios, an outspoken critic of Patrick Brown and head of the 'Axe the Carbon Tax' and 'Take Back Our PC Party' campaigns ... The legal case that was filed was another misguided attempt by Patrick Brown to stifle dissent on party issues that are matters of public interest, and the court agreed, ruling it was a SLAPP – a 'strategic lawsuit against public participation.' The legislation put in place to deter SLAPP suits entitled Karahalios to 100% of his legal fees to be paid by the PC Party."

The above are only the most public events of the AxeTheCarbonTax.ca campaign over the last 17 months. The journey included many other challenges along the way.

As Malcolm correctly points out in her column, now that Doug Ford has vowed to fight Justin Trudeau's carbon tax by joining forces with Scott Moe, Andrew Scheer, and Jason Kenney, those in favour of carbon taxes "aren’t going down without a fight, and the usual green evangelists have ratcheted up their name-calling and fear-mongering campaign over climate change."

In just the last two weeks, here are some of these examples we have seen:

- Justin Trudeau's government trying to cover up the true cost of his carbon tax racket;

- Trudeau's Environment and Climate Change Minister, Catherine McKenna, threatening to usurp Ontario's provincial jurisdiction and impose a carbon tax, going so far as to suggest that the mandate of Ontario voters was inferior to her belief that "the world has been clear" on the need for a carbon tax; 

- Trudeau's top advisor Gerald Butts threatening doom and gloom in the form of incoming lawsuits; and

- Other pundits claiming that it is simply too "costly" to end Ontario's cap-and-trade scheme.

Of course, we've seen all of these techniques before - lie, deny, threaten, sue, and fear monger. I've even seen them first hand.

Those in favour of a carbon tax will stop at nothing to get their way.

That's why the fight to "Axe the Carbon Tax" isn't over yet.

It's just getting started.

Jim Karahalios

AxeTheCarbonTax.ca