Liberal MP who called for leadership review, opposed carbon tax says he won’t run again

Liberal MP Ken McDonald, who earlier supported motions barring the carbon tax, and called for a leadership review of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, cites ‘family reasons’ for not seeking re-election.

Liberal MP who called for leadership review, opposed carbon tax says he won’t run again
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Liberal MP Ken McDonald, a vocal critic of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, announced Tuesday he will not seek re-election.

The member of Parliament from Newfoundland and Labrador, who earlier supported Tory motions barring the carbon tax, cites family reasons for stepping away from elected office.

McDonald informed Trudeau last month that he would not be running again.

The outgoing MP has been no stranger to controversy in recent months after calling for a leadership review amid declining support from the public.

He told Radio-Canada January 24 that Liberal MPs should reassess Trudeau's position given “there's almost a hatred out there right now” for the prime minister.

McDonald walked back those comments the following day, renewing his support for the prime minister. 

“Normally, in most circumstances in politics and especially in the federal government, if you go from a majority government to a minority government, there's supposed to be a leadership review,” he previously said. “That hasn't happened.” 

MP McDonald broke rank from his caucus colleagues twice last year over his opposition to the carbon tax, which he said devastates rural areas.

He was the lone Liberal MP to support an October 4 motion repealing the carbon tax. It failed in a 209-119 vote. 

“With the population of Newfoundland, I don't think we need to change behaviours,” McDonald said.

The member of Parliament successfully lobbied Trudeau for a carbon tax reprieve specific to his rural riding. Voters complained of high fuel costs, rampant food inflation and electricity and home heating that is no longer affordable.

Despite a three-year suspension on taxing home heating oils in Atlantic Canada, one Leger survey said 55% of Canadians either want the carbon tax reduced (18%) or abolished (37%) altogether.

McDonald said the exemption alone won’t improve the prime minister's image in his region. “I told him [Trudeau] exactly as it is.” 

He later sided with the government on a separate carbon tax motion, and was loudly heckled by Tory MPs.

On April 1, 2025 Ottawa will expand the carbon tax to $95 per tonne, with successive $15 increases planned until 2030, when it reaches $170 per tonne.

Over two-thirds (68%) of Canadians have said they are not willing to pay higher taxes to support Parliament’s ‘net-zero’ transition by 2050.

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