The majority of an Ontario court has found that Doug Ford’s his first act as premier – the cancellation of the cap-and-trade system – – was illegal.

We weren’t trying to bring back cap-and-trade, as it has already been replaced by the federal carbon tax regime. Together with our friends at Ecojustice, we took the Ford government to court to make three points:

  1. Ford broke the law. The Premier’s rush to eliminate Ontario’s plan to tackle the climate emergency was not just reckless, but illegal.
  2. Ontarians have a right to participate in environmental decision-making. Within hours of our case being filed in September 2018, the provincial government opened a formal consultation on their climate legislation that received a record number of submissions.
  3. Set a precedent. This decision should effectively block governments from trying to ram environmental policy changes through immediately post-election as part of a shock-and-awe approach to governing

Ford rushed to kill the cap-and-trade program – which not only put a price on pollution but funded many other environmental programs – because he didn’t want to give time for opposition to grow. The tens of thousands of youth-led protesters out in the streets in the last few weeks make it clear that strategy didn’t work.

Toronto Climate Strike rally and march, on September 27th, 2019.
(© Ian Willms / Greenpeace)

With less than two weeks before the federal election, this ruling should send a strong message to all leaders that getting elected isn’t a free pass to flout the law and erode Canada’s democracy.

Call on your candidates in the federal election to act on the Climate Emergency and implement a Green New Deal. 

It’s time for the Ford government to drop its legal challenge of federal carbon pricing — and start taking urgent action to address the climate emergency.