Liberal MPP running away from comments on carbon tax

August 29, 2012

QUEEN’S PARK — Liberal MPP Phil McNeely’s comments about imposing a needless carbon tax on hardworking Ontarians adds to the long history of Liberal caucus support for this controversial levy, which would increase the cost of gas, groceries and hydro, PC Environment Critic and Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris said today.

McNeely was quoted in a Metro News article last week saying a carbon tax “makes sense” for Ontario, but “minority government’s a difficult position to even start talking about carbon.”

Harris raised the issue in the House today and specifically referenced McNeely’s comments. But moments after Harris spoke, McNeely tweeted a link to a blog post on his website, distancing himself from his carbon tax comments quoted in the media and lashing out at the PC Party.

Interestingly, McNeely didn’t try to correct his comments until Aug. 27, 2012 – five days after the news article was published and three days after Harris issued a news release calling out McNeely for his support of a carbon tax.

“Mr. McNeely’s comments clearly show strong support for a carbon tax,” Harris said. “If those comments were incorrect, why did it take him so long to set the record straight? Did someone muzzle him?”

McNeely did admit in his blog post that he supports the government’s plan to implement a job-killing cap-and-trade scheme, which caps the amount of greenhouse gases certain industries can emit and creates an emissions-trading market.

In April, the Environment Minister confirmed in writing the Liberal government is forging ahead with a cap-and-trade scheme built on an amendment to the Environmental Protection Act the Liberals passed in 2009 to enable an emissions-trading market, and on Regulation 452/09.

“There are plenty of solutions to combat climate change, like investing in public transit, conserving energy, getting rid of coal and protecting green space. But unfortunately the Liberals continue to turn back to their tax-and-spend playbook.”