Here’s How Much Doug Ford Says Eliminating Cap-and-Trade Will Save

The new Ontario government is moving forward on its promise to "end the cap-and-trade and carbon tax era in Ontario."

Ford, who is currently making headlines with his promise to cut Toronto city council almost in half and cancel regional chair elections in Peel, York, Niagara and Muskoka, says that eliminating carbon taxes will save the average family $260 per year and help reduce gas prices by 10 cents per litre

The province says the "orderly wind down" of the cap-and-trade carbon tax is a key step towards fulfilling the government’s commitment to reducing gas prices by 10 cents per litre.

The government says its legislation will include a plan to compensate eligible participants of the program.

Participants eligible for compensation will be required to meet the following criteria:

  • Participants who were required to participate in the cap and trade program
  • Participants whose accumulated costs are currently above and beyond their assessed emissions
  • Participants who did not pass program costs down to consumers.
  • The proposed legislation will also include measures to help replace the cap-and-trade carbon tax with a better plan for achieving real environmental goals.

Ford’s promise to cancel cap-and-trade has been criticized by environmental advocacy groups, including Environmental Defence.

“The cancellation of cap-and-trade is a bad idea for many reasons. Cap-and-trade is the lowest cost way for Ontario to comply with Ottawa’s carbon pricing plan. Ontario businesses are literally invested in cap-and-trade, having bought over $2.8 billion in permits,” the organization wrote in a recent news release.

“The Ontario government will need to find billions of dollars to buy back those permits, or risk being sued.”

The organization argues that the new legislation--which it suggests will prompt Ottawa to act--will hurt local businesses.

“The cancellation of cap-and-trade presumably also means the cancellation of the many programs it funds. This means no more money to help businesses become more energy efficient, no money for social housing energy retrofits, and no money for colleges, universities and hospitals to reduce their energy use. It means no funding for cycling infrastructure, electric vehicles, and public transit. And it likely means an end to programs aimed to help homeowners reduce their carbon emissions, like free smart thermostats, and rebates for energy efficient windows and insulation.”

Some experts have also suggested that the federal government could still implement its own carbon tax in Ontario.

The newly elected Ford government revoked the cap-and-trade carbon tax regulation and prohibited all trading of emission allowances effective July 3, 2018. All programs currently funded through the cap-and-trade carbon tax have been cancelled, including the immediate wind down of the Green Ontario Fund.

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