Ford to officially wind down green programs funded through cap-and

Doug Ford

Whether or not we believe that cap and trade or carbon taxes or whatever, actually improves the environment is a moot point; we should be concerned that the government is running up a huge bill to nix the programs.

Earlier this year, the US state of California and two Canadian provinces - Ontario and Quebec - kicked off a cross-border auction of greenhouse gas emission credits to buy and sell in the cap and trade market in an effort to fight global warming. Decisions to continue any specific initiatives now supported by the fund will need to be paid for out of the tax base and will be made on a case-by-case basis in alignment with the Ford government's Plan For the People and the upcoming value-for-money audit.

The change at Queen's Park will have major ramifications for the federal government, which plans to implement a carbon tax in provinces where there is none.

"I promised that the party with taxpayers' dollars was over and that this would include scrapping the cap-and-trade carbon tax slush fund". "We have paused the implementation of this section until we can review this provision in full to make sure it is in the best interest of Ontarians", he says. The Green On initiative was started by the Liberal government past year as an initiative to encourage environmentally-friendly upgrades to businesses and homeowners.

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In order to scrap the program, the premier must first amend or rescind the legislation that governs it, said Keith Brooks, program director for the advocacy group Environmental Defence.

The government also has to formally notify its partners in the Western Climate Initiative that it is withdrawing from the cap-and-trade system, Brooks said.

Cap and trade, a carbon tax by another name, raises prices on goods and services rather than the taxes on them. The agreement signed by the province said the government would endeavour to give a year's notice before pulling out but it's unclear whether Ford plans to do so, he said.

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