Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday October 19, 2018
Premier Doug Ford’s cap-and-trade move will cost treasury $3B over four years
Premier Doug Ford’s move to scrap Ontario’s cap-and-trade alliance with Quebec and California will deal a $3-billion blow to the treasury, according to the province’s financial accountability officer.
“By cancelling the cap-and-trade program, the province’s annual budget balance will worsen by a cumulative total of $3 billion over the next four years,” Peter Weltman warned Tuesday.
“The province’s budget balance worsens because the loss of cap-and-trade revenue from ending the auction of emission allowances is greater than the savings achieved from cancelling cap-and-trade-related spending programs,” said Weltman.
Environment Minister Rod Phillips, who will unveil a replacement climate-change plan later this year without any taxation component, insisted the $3-billion hit was anticipated.
“That’s $3 billion back in the pockets of Ontario taxpayers,” said Phillips.
“We committed to the orderly wind-down of this program that was killing jobs, that was regressive, and we will follow that through. It’s a promise we made, it’s a promise we’ll keep,” he said.
“Yes, that means less money for government — that’s more money for families.”
NDP MPP Peter Tabuns (Toronto-Danforth) countered that “Ford is hurting Ontario’s environment, and he’s charging all Ontarians extra to do it.”
“The direct result of Ford’s favour to big polluters will be $3 billion in costs piled onto the backs of the people of Ontario. That means ripping $3 billion right out of folks’ bank accounts, or cutting $3 billion from things like health care,” said Tabuns.
Green Leader Mike Schreiner said “Ford’s anti-climate agenda is bad for the environment and bad for business.”
“Today, we learned that the premier’s reckless actions are a $3-billion boondoggle that will dig a deeper fiscal hole for the province,” said Schreiner.
Greenpeace’s Keith Stewart said the FAO report proves axing cap-and-trade “is bad for the budget and worse for our environment.”
Beyond any environmental impact of withdrawing from the climate accord, Ontario will now be subject to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s forthcoming federal carbon-pricing scheme that could be more expensive.
It was exempt from that while it was part of the two-year-old cap-and-trade accord with Quebec and California. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)
Doug Ford’s cap-and-trade move will cut $3 billion from Ontario treasury revenues over four years: financial accountability office. Friday editorial cartoon by Graeme MacKay. #onpoli #Capandtrade @mackaycartoons @TheSpec #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/f9Pucph3le
— Seán O’Shea (@ConsumerSOS) October 19, 2018