If you like your anti-carbon tax sticker, you can keep your anti-carbon tax sticker, but you don’t have to put them up on your gas pumps anymore, and you don’t have to replace them if they’re torn down. Ontario’s Minister of Energy released a statement this morning that said that they will no longer pursue the much criticized policy after a year-long court fight.
Following up on last month’s ruling where an Ontario Superior Court said that a law passed in 2019 demanding all gas stations in Ontario to put a sticker on each gas pump explaining the cost of additional fuel charges was both unconstitutional and politically-motivated, Greg Rickford released a statement Thursday saying that the Provincial government will not be appealing.
“We stand by our position that Ontarians deserve to know the true cost of the federal carbon tax,” said Greg Rickford in a statement. “Right now, however, our sole focus is protecting the health and wellbeing of the people of Ontario as we continue to battle COVID-19.”
“Our government will always stand up for the people of Ontario and hold the federal government accountable on this tax that continues to make life more expensive for hardworking families and business owners across this province,” he added.
Justice Edward M. Morgan said in his ruling that the government “cannot legislate a requirement that private retailers post a sticker designed” to critique another level of government or political party as part of an election or political campaign. The stickers, according to Justice Morgan, was “an unconstitutional attempt to do just that.”
“Gasoline retailers are at liberty to keep the stickers on their fuel pumps or to remove them, as they see fit,” Morgan added.
Rickford has previously been criticized for appearing as if he supported climate denialism. In 2019, he said that one of this “favourite periodicals” was the blog Climate Change Dispatch, which refuses to accept the fact of anthropomorphic climate change, and says it’s mission is to deconstruct” climate change theories “propagated” by former U.S. vice president Al Gore.
After the court decision in September, Rickford said the government didn’t agree with it, but they would respect it even though they hesitated on announcing an appeal. “We respect the Court’s decision. We don’t agree with it. To the extent that we believe the people of Ontario need to understand where additional costs are coming. Especially at the point of purchase with respect to gasoline,” Rickford said.
At least one member of Provincial Parliament was celebrating the news that this is the end for the gas pump stickers.
“I still cannot believe the Premier thought he could get away with this ridiculous stunt,” said Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner. “He wanted to penalize small businesses with a $10,000 fine if they failed to display his shameful, misleading anti-climate stickers.”
“These stickers deserve to be in the dustbin of history, and so does the Premier’s Made-to-Fail climate plan,” Schreiner added. “Let’s focus on combating the COVID crisis and the climate crisis, instead of wasting time and money on expensive political stunts.”