Ford pre­pared to walk away from meet­ing

The Daily Courier - - CANADA -

TORONTO — Doug Ford’s of­fice says the On­tario premier is pre­pared to walk away from a meet­ing of first min­is­ters if it does not in­clude spe­cific dis­cus­sions on the car­bon tax.

Ford is set to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Mon­treal this af­ter­noon ahead of Fri­day’s meet­ing of Canada’s fed­eral, pro­vin­cial and ter­ri­to­rial lead­ers.

The premier’s of­fice says dis­cus­sions are un­der­way with fed­eral of­fi­cials over the meet­ing’s agenda.

Sources fa­mil­iar with the dis­pute say Ford and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe have not been sat­is­fied by the fed­eral re­sponse that the agenda al­ready in­cludes a dis­cus­sion on eco­nomic com­pet­i­tive­ness — a broad topic that Ot­tawa says will al­low premiers to raise all the is­sues they please.

On­tario Gov­ern­ment House Leader Todd Smith says the agenda for the meet­ing doesn’t deal with the con­cerns of the prov­inces, which in­clude the car­bon tax, a planned Gen­eral Mo­tors plant clo­sure in On­tario and the oil price cri­sis.

Fed­eral of­fi­cials have pri­vately con­ceded that lit­tle head­way is likely to be made on the of­fi­cial ob­jec­tive of the meet­ing: re­duc­ing in­ter­provin­cial trade bar­ri­ers.

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