With or without Ford, Ontario will have a carbon tax, says Trudeau

“The clear mandate that I got elected on was to bring in a national plan to fight climate change,” said Trudeau, “and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”

The provincial and federal leaders met at Ford’s new Queen’s Park office two days after the federal government indicated it may withhold up to $420 million in transfer payments for green initiatives, pending review.

The province had been considered eligible for programs such as the Low Energy Carbon Fund because of its participation in the carbon pricing market it shared with Quebec and California – an initiative Ford moved to cancel within a week of being sworn into office.

The prime minister made clear that while it it would be ideal to work in partnership with each province, when some – such as Ontario and Saskatchewan – choose not to comply with federal policy, his government will impose a price on pollution to ensure its climate framework is consistently upheld across the country.

Scott Moe, Saskatchewan’s premier, will challenge the federal imposition of pollution pricing in court.