Peter Tabuns MPP, Toronto-Danforth

Government of Ontario

NDP reveals Ford paid over $111,000 for testimony from Trump ally

Published on March 29, 2021

Benjamin Zycher has a history of climate change denial, racism and Islamophobia

QUEEN’S PARK – The Official Opposition NDP has revealed that the Ford government spent over $111,000 to hire Benjamin Zycher, a Trump supporter who believes climate change is a hoax, to provide “expert” testimony in its court battle over gas pump stickers.

A Freedom of Information request from NDP Energy and Climate Crisis critic Peter Tabuns shows that Zycher was paid $111,717 for his testimony and a report he produced, as part of the court case that led to Ford’s stickers being ruled unconstitutional.
“We’ve learned that the Doug Ford government used over $100,000 in public money to hire an American climate change denier to testify in Doug Ford’s defense of gas pump stickers that didn’t even stick,” said Tabuns. “Last week the Supreme Court of Canada made it clear: climate change is real and it’s a threat to our very humanity if governments don’t act. Doug Ford’s anti-climate crusade has reached a new low with this one.”
Zycher, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, has been a vocal supporter of former American President Donald Trump and a champion of the climate change hoaxer movement. Zycher has said, “…proponents of the Paris agreement claim that there is a crisis upon us, an assertion for which there is little evidence.”

Of climate change, he’s said, “There is no crisis upon us. Absolutely none.” When Trump called climate change a hoax, Zycher said, “there is very substantial truth in that statement, a reality hidden by the equally-imprecise ‘reporting’ on climate issues by most of the American media.”
Zycher also has a documented history of Islamophobic and racist behaviour, including claiming that former First Lady Michelle Obama is “the product of lifelong affirmative-action coddling,” and that “most modern-day terrorist acts are perpetrated by Muslims.”
“This man’s noted opinions include racist personal attacks on Michelle Obama, Islamophobic hatred against Muslims, and going to bat for Trump to deny climate change,” said Tabuns. “Zycher is entirely discredited. It’s shameful that Doug Ford enlisted him to spew his misinformation here in Ontario and paid him handsomely to do it."

**Attached is a the FOI response and a screen cap from provincial Estimates indicating Zycher's payment.