Canada's Ontario government scraps cap-and-trade program

07 Julio, 2018, 01:03 | Author: Enrique Watson
  • Doug Ford sworn in as premier of Ontario in Toronto Ont. on Friday

Premier Ford has said his planned 10-cent gas price cut will come courtesy of a almost five-cent reduction in provincial fuel tax, while the balance would be one of the results of eliminating the cap-and-trade program.

It remains unclear how much exiting the cap-and-trade program will cost Ontario, which is part of a larger program with Quebec and California, and what will happen with the almost $3 billion in credits that companies have already purchased.

Ford's news release also said there will be an "orderly wind-down" of programs funded by cap-and-trade, including incentives for homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient and for motorists to switch to electric vehicles. "I promised that the party with taxpayers' dollars was over and that this would include scrapping the cap-and-trade carbon tax slush fund".

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In an email statement to CBC, Simon Jeffries, a spokesperson for Ford said, "The previous government attempted to institute a cap on ticket resales with no way to enforce that cap, resulting in less consumer protection".

"Cancelling Ontario's plan to price greenhouse gas pollution without announcing an alternative is reckless and irresponsible", said Mike Schreiner, member of provincial parliament for Guelph, a city in southwestern Ontario. Keith Brooks, program director for the advocacy group Environmental Defence told Castanet Ford must first revoke or amend the regulation. Analysts have said they expect ditching cap-and-trade will ease the burden on businesses in the short-term.

Ontario companies have bought close to $3 billion in permits under the cap-and-trade system and need to know whether they will be compensated for those permits, Brooks said, noting some have suggested the province should offer a full refund. We'll give you an update when we hear back from the Premier's office. A spokesman for Ford said the ministers' offices are not now staffed and requests for comment should go to the premier's office.

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