Here’s What the Ontario Government is Doing About Climate Change


Published December 2, 2018 at 3:07 am


There has been much criticism on the Ontario government’s climate change position ever since they took office back in late June. 

In the midst of cancelling the province’s cap and trade program and fighting the federal government on carbon tax, Doug Ford had not articulated a coherent alternative, leaving concerns that his government is in denial about climate change.

Until now.

Environment Minister Rod Phillips announced last week the Ontario government’s alternate climate change plan. And as promised, there is no carbon tax included.

Here’s are some of the key highlights from the province’s climate change plan:

  • The creation of the Ontario Carbon Trust, an emission reduction fund of $350 million that will be used to leverage private investment in clean technologies that are commercially viable.

  • Other policies include the emission reductions associated with investments in public
    transit, and our commitment to improve diversion of food and organic waste from landfills.

  • A ‘make polluters pay’ policy, meaning creating an emission performance standards to achieve greenhouse gas emissions reductions from large emitters. A $400 million fund over four years for emissions reduction.

  • Launch an Ontario Reverse Auction ($50 million), allowing bidders to send proposals for emissions reduction projects and compete for contracts based on the lowest cost greenhouse gas emission reductions.

The report put out this graphic showing how the money will be distributed.

There was also a chart showing how much the province expects in carbon reductions by sector as of 2030.

“This plan strikes the right balance between a healthy environment and a healthy economy,” said Phillips. “It contains solutions that will protect our air, land and water, reduce waste, address litter, increase our resilience to climate change and help us all do our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Most importantly, it does all of this without imposing an ineffective, regressive carbon tax on hard-working Ontario families.”

“Our plan will encourage individuals, families, governments and businesses to take greater ownership of our shared environmental challenges through real actions, big and small. We promised the people of Ontario we are serious about addressing environmental challenges of our day while respecting hard-working taxpayers – and we are keeping that promise.”

The federal government’s response has been predictable, since they’re the ones who introduced carbon pricing that is scheduled to take place as of next year. Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has said the Ontario plan is similar to ‘failed policies that were implemented in Australia and Saskatchewan.”

She also posted a video with an explanation of the federal carbon tax saying 90 per cent of the revenue generated would go back to the province.

At least now that they’ve come up with a plan to show the public, the Tories cannot be accused of not having a plan…and having those that disagree whether this plan would work over a carbon tax is the normal flow of political discourse.

Which plan do you like better?

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