Chris Selley: The middle ground solution to Ontario PCs’ carbon tax problem

By Chris Selley, Ottawa Citizen, February 9, 2018

The political strategist community seems to be unanimous that you can’t win a conservative leadership campaign while supporting carbon pricing. As such, there was no way the carbon tax proposal in the Ontario Progressive Conservatives’ People’s Guarantee platform was going to survive the disappearance of the guy on the cover. After some initial tentative trial balloons, and albeit with some inconsistent language, all three candidates in the race — Christine Elliott, Doug Ford and Caroline Mulroney — now say no to a carbon tax.

It’s awkward, because the platform’s authors clearly felt the party needed a credible climate change policy to win a general election — the date of which, June 7, has not changed — and they came up with a solid approach: scrap the Liberals’ “cap-and-trade slush fund,” opt in to the federally mandated backstop carbon price, and give all of the proceeds back to Ontarians.

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