“You’re entitled to your opinion but not your own facts, Mr. Ford. The truth of the matter is you need to stop reading the script that looks like it came out of the fiction section.”
The charge, from Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca, came after Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford said in Monday night’s provincial leaders’ debate that the Tories are “the only party that’s going to cut taxes.”
One tax in particular — a proposed temporary 5.7 per cent per litre cut by Ford to the provincial gas tax — got lots of airtime, with Ford accusing the other three parties of wanting to increase the tax and “hiking up gas prices.”
Will the other parties increase the gas tax or was that really “fiction?” Here’s what the NDP, Liberals and Greens are saying about gas taxes.
New Democratic Party
The NDP has promised to cancel Ford’s promised gas tax cut, saving the party $600 million in its costed platform.
But the NDP said it will not increase the tax — just keep the one that already exists.
“The NDP has committed to a better plan, which is more likely to stabilize and lower prices for drivers permanently: capping gas prices through regulation,” communications director Erin Morrison said in an email.
The party’s platform includes a pledge to “regulate gas to stop gouging at the pump” by directing the Ontario Energy Board to regulate the retail price and wholesale markup of gas by oil companies.
The Liberal platform does not mention the gas tax, but press secretary Andrea Ernesaks said in an email that the party is committed to keeping Ford’s proposed tax cut, which is set to take effect July 1 and last through to the end of the year.
During Monday night’s debate, in response to Ford’s promise to cut the gas tax, Del Duca said, “We’re doing that as well.”
The Green Party is the only party that has said it will increase the gas tax.
The party’s costing includes $645 million in revenue from scrapping Ford’s proposed cut, which Leader Mike Schreiner said will “support increasing fossil fuel consumption.”
The Greens also plan to increase the existing provincial gas tax of 14.7 cents per litre by five cents, press secretary Darren Elias said in an email.
This levy will support the creation of a Climate Adaptation Fund to help prepare infrastructure to withstand climate-fuelled severe weather events, Elias said.
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