Ontario Premier Doug Ford revokes carbon pricing regulation

Saturday, 07 Jul, 2018

Ford says in a new release that eliminating it will be the first step in lowering gas prices by 10 cents a litre and curbing other household costs.

While the "wind-down" is effective, Ford's government has committed to honoring arrangements or contracts that have already been signed through programs for energy efficiency, insulations, and window retrofits.

Cap and trade, a carbon tax by another name, raises prices on goods and services rather than the taxes on them.

Some rebates for energy-efficient renovations that were financed through cap-and-trade revenues-such as the GreenON rebate program-were already being phased out before Ford officially took office last week.

Ford's statement says the government will decide on a case-by-case basis whether some initiatives previously funded by the program will be paid for using tax base revenue. And the payments will depend on the results of an upcoming value-for-money audit of government spending.

"We are getting Ontario out of the carbon tax business", he said.

According to Premier Ford, "cap-and-trade and carbon tax schemes are no more than government cash grabs that do nothing for the environment, while hitting people in the wallet in order to fund big government programs".

"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.

Ford's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday but the premier said in the statement that he believes scrapping cap and trade will put money back in Ontarians' pockets.

The debate about the environmental efficiency of cap and trade has become a hotly contested issue, with the pro and anti sides firmly entrenched in their positions, but what concerns many Ontario voters now is the financial cost of Ford's move.