Canada's Ontario government scraps cap-and-trade program

Truly humbled by the trust you have put in me’ Doug Ford addresses Ontario as premier

The newly elected Ontario government announced on Tuesday it would end the province's cap-and-trade program, a policy created to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, fulfilling one of Premier Doug Ford's election promises.

That may or may not be a fair comparison, but it does seem odd that a Ford government that promised a better deal for taxpayers, seems to be digging a deeper financial hole to get there.

Ford's news release also said there will be an "orderly wind-down" of programs funded by cap-and-trade, including incentives for homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient and for motorists to switch to electric vehicles.

In an official statement by the Government of Ontario this morning, Premier Doug Ford announced that he plans to go through with the initial promises that he made during his campaign to "put money back in people's pockets".

Premier Ford has said his planned 10-cent gas price cut will come courtesy of a almost five-cent reduction in provincial fuel tax, while the balance would be one of the results of eliminating the cap-and-trade program.

EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Resigns, Trump Tweets
Pruitt was a former Oklahoma attorney general who filed a number of lawsuits against the EPA, according to the agency's website. Pruitt, a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, also was known for questioning the human role in global climate change.

The statement notes that the Auditor General's review of Ontario's cap-and-trade program found the system could cost Ontario consumers and businesses $8 billion, with a "negligible impact" on the province's carbon emissions.

It was unclear what, if anything, the Ontario government would implement in contrast to curb resale prices.

"People need the details on exactly when this is going to be wound down and if there are any programs that are going to persist, we also need to know what those are, because otherwise the manufacturers are going maybe on a rollercoaster ride", he said. "Premier Ford is telling clean economy companies that Ontario is not open for business". A spokesman for Ford said the ministers' offices are not now staffed and requests for comment should go to the premier's office.

The government's website does not list contact information for the newly appointed minister of the environment or any other cabinet members.

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