Superior Court Judge Rules Ford’s Mandatory Order for Carbon Price Stickers on Gas Pumps is “Unconstitutional”
A News Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted September 8th, 2020 on Niagara At Large
Well, apparently at least some of us do need to be told, because many among us voted in 2018 for now Ontario Premier Doug Ford and a Conservative Party that is such a cabal of right-wing extremists, it bears no resemblance to the Ontario Conservative Government of Bill Davis half a century ago.
So thank God that Ontario Superior Court Justice Edward M. Morgan has done just that in a ruling he tabled this past September 4th, declaring “unconstitutional” the province’s Ford Government’s outrageous move a year ago, to force private sector companies in the gas-selling business to place a self-serving, political sticker on their gas pumps.
Can anyone other than Ford and the sycophants in his party that lick his boots now imagine any member of the Conservative Party during the era of Bill Davis or John Robarts ordering private sector companies to display blatantly political stickers on their property at the risk of being fined or worse, if they do not?
This is a Ford government that not only could not care less about true conservative principles, but is acting it out in the case of environmental issues former Ontario Conservative governments like that of Bill Davis demonstrated a record of caring about, in its contempt for virtually any and all environmental protection measures, and for any and all of the science that shows our human carbon-based energy culture is wreaking havoc on the earth’s climate.
Indeed, the Ford government celebrate its contempt for traditional conservative principles and for environmental protection during a federal election more than a year ago with these crass carbon stickers.
It made it clear at the time that it was obviously on the side of its federal Conservatives in that election when it ordered private companies to display the stickers on their property – using millions of dollars of our tax money to produce and distribute the stickers, and mandate their use, which should be against Canadian election laws.
How sad it is that it was not the federal government or the owners of private gas stations that took the Ford government to court over this. Shame on them.
It took a great and dedicated old organization like the Canadian Civil Liberties Assocation (CCLA) to care enough about democracy in the country to bring this case to court. And we all ow at debt of gratitude to them.
For those of us who care about addressing the climate emergency, let’s pledge to fire this Ontario Ford government in two years and to never vote in a Conservative government at the federal level.
As much as we may have our frustrations with the federal government now in power, I would rather live with more years of that than governments that could care less about protecting our environment.
Now here is a recent Statement from Ontario’s Official Opposition New Democratic Party, urging the Ford government not to waste even more of our tax dollars appealing the Judge’s decision – just to satisfy its climate-denying base –
September 4, 2020
Ontario NDP demands Ford government does not appeal carbon stickers ruling
TORONTO — Official Opposition Energy and Climate Crisis critic Peter Tabuns released this statement in response to the Ontario Superior Court ruling that Doug Ford’s anti-carbon price stickers are unconstitutional because they violate people’s freedom of expression, a decision made in response to a legal challenge brought by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association:
“The Official Opposition NDP is calling for an immediate commitment from Doug Ford that he will not waste another dollar of public money to appeal the Superior Court decision. He has already wasted enough of people’s money on his anti-carbon price stickers that don’t stick – a partisan and dishonest propaganda campaign.
It’s heartening to see that the Ontario Superior Court has determined that the Ford government’s anti-carbon price stickers are, in fact, a violation of freedom of expression and are neither justified nor reasonable. That decision reflects the way so many Ontarians felt when they were forced to display the stickers against their will, subject to a fine of up to $10,000.
Ford cancelled Ontario’s cap-and-trade program as a favour to big polluters, and he has already wasted tens of thousands of Ontarians’ money promoting his party’s biased, inaccurate, and anti-environment agenda. Appealing this Superior Court decision would be another waste of money, another attack on Ontario’s environment, and another attack on people’s constitutional rights.”
“A government cannot legislate a requirement that private retailers post a sticker designed to accomplish that task (of making a political statement,” said the Judge in his ruling. “The mandatory fuel pump sticker is an unconstitutional attempt to do just that.”
Indeed, the Ford government did just that during a federal election more than a year ago in which it was obviously on the side of its federal Conservatives, and it did it – forced private sector parties to post this sticker on their property – using millions of dollars of Ontario citizens tax money, which should be against the law.
But this is where we are at with Ford’s Ontario Tories, when it comes to doing whatever it can to oppose placing a price on climate-ravaging carbon pollution, and this is what we will continue to be in for if the federal Conservatives – much like the climate-denying Trump cult south of the border – win the next federal election in Canada.
The mandatory fuel pump sticker is an unconstitutional attempt to do just that.”
To read a recent report from CBC on this issue, click on –https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/carbon-tax-gas-pump-stickers-ford-struck-down-1.5712981
To read the Court’s decision on the unconstitutionality of the Ford government’s carbon sticker caper, click on – https://ccla.org/cclanewsite/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/CCLA-v-AG-Ontario-judgment-202009041.pdf?utm_source=sootoday.com&utm_campaign=sootoday.com&utm_medium=referral
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