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article imageOntario Premier Doug Ford revokes carbon pricing regulation

By Karen Graham     Jul 4, 2018 in Politics
Toronto - In a statement released Tuesday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he has revoked the regulation that kept the province's carbon pricing system in place.
In the announcement, Ford said he would begin winding down all the green programs funded through the regulation this week. He also said that contracts and orders already signed for under the Green Ontario Fund would be honored.
Called Green On, the $377-million fund, financed through the proceeds of cap-and-trade auctions is winding down. According to the Toronto Star, the incoming government has set an Aug. 31 deadline for the installation of windows in order to qualify for the rebates.
CTV News Canada is reporting that Ford also said some payments will be decided on a "case-to-case" basis as to whether they will be paid using the tax base revenue.
But payments will be decided after looking at the overall plan he has for the province. And the payments will depend on the results of an upcoming value-for-money audit of government spending.
Scraping cap-and-trade a ticklish business
Without a doubt, Ford ran his campaign on getting rid of the carbon tax, and it has been his first order of business. But like many initiatives and moves - it is important to look at the whole picture.
“I promised that the party with taxpayers’ dollars was over and that this would include scrapping the cap-and-trade carbon tax slush fund. Today we are keeping that promise,” he said in his statement Tuesday, reports iPolitics.
The Green On initiative was started by the Liberal government last year as an initiative to encourage environmentally-friendly upgrades to businesses and homeowners. And Ontario businesses have bought close to $3 billion in permits under the cap-and-trade system - and now they are wondering if they will be compensated for those permits.
Keith Brooks, program director for the advocacy group Environmental Defence told Castanet Ford must first revoke or amend the regulation. The law sets climate change targets and earmarks cap-and-trade revenues for green initiatives, among a number of other things.
And Brooks also brings up the issue of formally notifying Ontario's partners in the Western Climate Initiative (WCI). In 2008, four Canadian provinces, including British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec, representing 76 percent of Canada's GDP, joined the initiative.
Brooks says that the initiative requires that members give a year's notice of a decision to pull out of the WCI, and it is unclear if Ford plans on doing this.
"We know that the premier... promised to get rid of cap and trade and we understand he's moving quickly to fulfill that promise but I think that there are some problems here because there are some questions that haven't been answered," he said.
More about Ontario, capandtrade, Doug Ford, carbon pricing, Politics
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