Elliott slips explaining carbon tax stance

Christine Elliott is having to explain away comments she made about a possible future carbon tax while her rivals for the leadership of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party say it is proof that Elliott is flip-flopping.

All four of the PC leadership hopefuls have come out against the carbon tax proposed by former leader Patrick Brown and championed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but at an event in Kingsville, Ontario on Friday, Elliott made comments that made her sound open to a carbon tax.

In the question and answer, part of which was recorded by a participant and provided to me, Elliott is heard saying a future carbon tax is possible.

“So we don’t need to go with a carbon tax, maybe in the future but not right now, people cannot afford it,” Elliott said.

The few words, “maybe in the future,” came at the end of a long answer where Elliott said she opposes the federal carbon tax and would join other provinces in fighting the Trudeau mandate in court but it is enough of an opening to allow her opponents to pounce.

“The PC Party cannot have a Liberal lite leader who will support reckless polices and who is open to bringing in a carbon tax,” Doug Ford told me.

Caroline Mulroney was blunt in her assessment.

“Under my leadership there will not be a carbon tax, not now, not ever,” Mulroney said over the phone as she campaigned in southwestern Ontario.

Elliott denied that she meant that she would bring in a carbon tax in the future if she were premier.

“Perhaps it might be some other government in the future but any government led by me would not introduce a carbon tax at any time,” Elliott said. “I’ve been opposed to a carbon tax since I was first elected in 2006.”

That’s not a line that leadership rival Tanya Granic Allen is buying, she asserts that Elliott is softening her position on the carbon tax in exchange for the support of former leader Patrick Brown.

“Why would she all of sudden say this about a carbon tax,” Granic Allen asked while pointing to Brown’s support for Elliott’s campaign. “I think this is just more evidence that perhaps there is that alleged secret deal between her and Patrick Brown.”

Granic Allen says she has been clear from the start that she will never back a carbon tax.

Elliott’s team denies she is softening her opposition or that there is a secret deal with Brown.

“Definitely not,” said a campaign spokesperson.

Elliott has previously run for the PC Party leadership in 2009 and 2015, she did not propose a carbon tax in either of her previous leadership bids.

That isn’t stopping her opponents from claiming she is out to pull a fast one on Ontario PC voters.

“You have to make sure where the elected official stands,” said Ford, a long time friend of Elliott. “I’ve said it today and I’ll say it tomorrow, we aren’t wavering.”

Mulroney said that if Elliott needs to explain her position between her previous stance and the “maybe in the future” comments then that is a problem for Elliot and her team. Granic Allen said if she wins the leadership and becomes premier voters will never have to worry about a carbon tax.

“I stand by my commitments and I remain opposed to a carbon tax and would not introduce it in any government led by me at any time,” Elliott said.

Elliott’s campaign puts down her opponents comments down to nothing more than “lobbing grenades” at the front runner. One recent poll of members put Elliott slightly behind Doug Ford, that poll was taken prior to Patrick Brown’s withdrawal from the race and his endorsement of Elliott but also before the most recent debate in Ottawa which likely resulted in some members shifting their support.

UPDATE: Despite statements made to me, and in public, by Patrick Brown’s spokesperson that he is backing Christine Elliott, Elliott’s campaign contacted me after this article was published to say there is no official endorsement.



  1. Thanks for the update. Why would she say “maybe in the future” if she did ‘t mean it?
    No doubt many of her supporters will be upset.

  2. Two things. Christine Elliott is campaigning on her experience as an MPP. She quit and took a big crony pay cheque from Kathleen Wynne. This tells me that she is comfortable with the system as it is so as leader it will continue.

  3. I thinks there is some explaining to do Lucy.
    People need to be paying close attention to Elliot. She is definitely liberal lite. She also said she would do an environmental assessment before doing a fast rail to Windsor first before considering it in the future prospects. There is not much there on past Kitchener until you hit London and after that it’s open. Millions of dollars for assessment/red tape again?
    To go up against Trudeau government she will be unable to do it. Did anyone catch her face twitching on the second debate. Funny you didn’t see stress in Tanya or Doug. Though stress was obvious in Mulroney and Elliot. She isn’t even going against the opposition it’s her own party, what will she be like then?
    As far as taking on campaigning staff of Brown’s….these people just don’t step into that a few days later. Optics are really bad here if anyone had given it a thought they wouldn’t have brought them onto her campaign team. Does she think she is made of Teflon like Trudeau, nobody will notice or make a fuss. Oops that didn’t fly now did it! You haven’t been paying attention between Tanya and Doug they are holding everyone to be accountable to the Ontario Taxpayer.
    Let’s not forget the new job given to her by Wynne government as Ombudsman of patient care for $220,000 a year. Look Trudeau government has made the new Ethic Commissioners position partisan as well as other positions. Where was this learned from but the top senior political aide (Gerald Butts)to Trudeau from the McGinty/Wynne government. I read an article of her report for 2016-2017. Health system had five flags. A $220,000 a year job with a 70% resolve to complaints, 20% related to home care 10% related to long term care just on low end of a B-. What was the percentage before this new job was created to resolving complaint issues. Nothing stood out in the article accept families not prepared for a 24 hr to discharge for lodging placement. Two things come to mind communication to the family about this in a more timely manner for consideration and a bed issue probably in long term care. This you set up government data center/system for all long term facilities for a one stop shop eliminating time and research. Maybe they just need to open the beds that are closed because they don’t have the staffing. No mention of this in article that would make Wynne look bad. Partisan yes I think so! How about the mentioning of knee replacements and hip replacements taking a year. Coincident that a lot people have to wait to the New Year from August for surgery….run out of money by August each year?
    So who’s court is Elliot really in?
    I would like instead to see Elliot make a difference with JUST heading an Autism Committee. That would be the most rewarding thing she could offer, when PC are elected into government they have the ability to assist with that. Elliot would have the position to setup a program for adult care. Parents with Autistic adults would be ecstatic with that.

  4. At one point I thought Elliott might be a possibility as Ontario PC Leader but have since dismissed that thought and believe she is just masking her true values to get elected.

  5. Clear as mud then!!
    Despite statements made to me, and in public, by Patrick Brown’s spokesperson that he is backing Christine Elliott, Elliott’s campaign contacted me after this article was published to say there is no official endorsement.

  6. Look at the roads. There are potholes six inches deep on major roads. We have no money to fix problems. Look at Mr. Trumps surcharge on steel($15 Billion impact) We ar3e screwed.

  7. I have never trusted Christine Elliot from the word get go. She is riding on the shirt tails of her late husband Jim Flaherty and other elites. I do believe Doug Ford is the man to vote for and I have said so right from the start. Doug is a businessman with money but he doesn’t flash it around. Doug is for the people period! He is not a backroom politician and won’t accommodate the already wealthy. Christine just wants to win after running twice and loosing both times. what does that tell you??? Wake up people, so we want another Katheleen Wynne in power because that is what we will get if Christine wins the election. Christine is for Christine and her rich friends, she doesn’t care about the little people.

  8. Christine Elliott does not have leadership qualities to make necessary changes Ontario needs at this time, we need someone who really cares about our economy to make necessary changes, not left leaning friend of Wynn dont forget job she took with liberal govt which amounts to helping liberals look good. Shows bad judgement on her part, Ontario can not endure any bad decisions we are on life support and don`t know it.

  9. To the extent that one can trust a politician’s promises, I would say that Tanya Granic Allen and Doug Ford are the most credible of the four. I’d like to think that it’s partly because social conservatives, of which they are the ones leaning most in that direction, are less likely to be willing to deceive the electorate to gain power. That shouldn’t be the case, but based on the records of so many left-leaning politicians, I wouldn’t be surprised if it is.

  10. Brian, It is Monday and I have not received the verification package in the mail.
    No verification oackage, no number therefore I cannot vote.
    I have left messages today and will see if someone from PC party
    will call me. Very disappointed

  11. She is leading in the polls now but no one can put their stamp on polls as Hillary in the States found out and most will find out that here. I see this as being a possible two vote decision for a Leader as I don’t think anyone has 50 plus on to take it on the first ballot.

  12. Patrick Brown the Ontario PC leadership candidate said he was against a carbon tax as well as other area’s he was against. Patrick Brown the leader introduced the carbon tax in his policies and changed many of his so-called stands from earlier. Me thinks Christine protests too much. She screwed the pooch on this one with a slip of the truth tongue. Best leave that sleeping dog lie , Vote Ford, Tanya, Carlyn, and then bottom feeder Elliot.

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