'That guy's a real piece of work:' Doug Ford lashes out at federal environment minister
Published Thursday, March 30, 2023 1:07PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, March 30, 2023 1:09PM EDT
Premier Doug Ford is slamming federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault as a “real piece of work” in the wake of public remarks he made suggesting that Ontario has “no plan to fight climate change.”
Ford made the comment during a press conference in Hamilton on Thursday, during which he was asked about the environment minister’s latest criticism.
“That guy's a real piece of work isn't he?” the premier said. “We're doing everything we can (on climate change). Matter of fact I will put our record on the environment against any government in the history of this province or right across the country.”
On Wednesday, Guilbeault told reporters in Ottawa that he found Ford’s criticism of the federal carbon tax “incredibly rich coming from a premier who has no plan to fight climate change.”
Ford, however, defended his government’s record on Thursday and chastised Ottawa for not investing in the province’s Ring of Fire mineral development project in its most recent budget.
He went on to say that he “differentiates the leadership” of other federal ministers like Chrystia Freeland and Dominic LeBlanc from Guilbeault “because they are great to work with.”
“We're putting $1 billion dollars to make sure we pull critical minerals out of the ground to put in the EV vehicles and the batteries, to make sure we take cars off the road. We're putting an electric arc furnace at Algoma (Steel Group) and Dofasco, taking two million cars off the road. We are building the largest transit system in North America to get people out of their cars,” he said. “So I am not into the politics. Let’s move forward and let’s get things done. That is about all I have to say about that minister (Guilbeault).”
In response, the federal environment minister tweeted Thursday afternoon: "I have been called worse."
"Cleaner air, cleaner water and a healthier environment, these pieces are my work and they're very real," Guilbeault added.
This isn’t the first time that Ford has clashed with Guilbeault.
Back in January, the premier told reporters that he was disappointed with remarks the federal environment minister made suggesting that Ottawa could try to block the development of a parcel of land that Queen’s Park had removed from the Greenbelt.
Guilbeault, for his part, expressed frustration with working with Queen’s Park last week while discussing Ontario’s plans to build housing near Rouge National Urban Park.
"Collaboration is impossible," he said at the time. "There is zero desire. I think the government of Ontario has been very clear: no desire for public consultation, no desire for transparency, and no desire to understand what the environmental impacts and the health impacts to Ontarians would be of going ahead with these developments."
With files from The Candian Press.