Ontario government passes legislation to cancel cap and trade

Oct 31 2018, 5:13 pm

Ontario has officially passed legislation today to eliminate the cap-and-trade carbon tax in the province.

The bill was introduced in July, and at the time, Environment Minister Rod Phillips said that it if were approved, it would help reduce gas prices by 10 cents per litre.

The province said that the elimination of the cap and trade carbon tax will reduce gas prices, save the average family $260 per year.

“While today marks an important milestone for Ontario, just last week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his intentions to impose a punishing, job-killing new carbon tax on the people of Ontario,” said Premier Doug Ford in a statement.

“Our government is part of a growing coalition of other provinces across Canada that oppose and will ultimately repeal the federal carbon tax, which does nothing to reduce Canadian greenhouse gas emissions while raising the cost of essentials like home heating and gasoline.”

Later this fall, the province said it will release a comprehensive, “made-in-Ontario environment plan to help protect and conserve our air, land and water, address urban litter and waste, increase our resilience to climate change and help all of us do our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

In September, lawyers from Ecojustice, in partnership with the uOttawa-Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic, filed a case against the province on behalf of Greenpeace Canada.

The case alleged that the Ford government unlawfully failed to provide for public consultation on a regulation that ended Ontario’s cap and trade program and on Bill 4, the Cap and Trade Cancellation Act, which was before the legislature then.

Additionally, the cap and trade cancellation was the main topic of a recent report by Peter Weltman, Ontario’s Financial Accountability Officer.

Weltman said that cancelling the cap and trade program will worsen Ontario’s annual budget balance by a cumulative total of $3 billion over the next four years.

“This deterioration in the government’s budget balance occurs because the loss of cap and trade revenues will exceed the savings from cancelling the related spending programs,” says Weltman.

Scrapping cap-and-trade was one of Premier Doug Ford’s key promises during the province’s spring election campaign.

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