Climate column skewed
Lorrie Goldstein’s column Cap and trade gives government a slush fund (Sept. 6)betrays his skewed view of Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan. Like the skeptics before him, his sweeping assumptions are wrong and need to be corrected.
Ontario residents I talk with don’t dispute that climate change is real and that it’s happening. They want a provincial government that supports their desire to reduce the amount of pollution we are releasing into the air.
With the federal government mandating a carbon price by 2018, we’re taking a lead with our plan to guarantee reductions at the most economical price possible.
Every dollar collected from our cap on pollution and carbon market must be reinvested into projects that fight climate change.
The Ontario government’s plan will invest up to $1.9 billion a year to cut pollution, create good, clean local jobs and reduce our dependency on imported fossil fuels.
Whether it’s for home improvements to lower energy bills or new furnaces in public schools to improve energy efficiency and the comfort of our kids, Ontarians are seeing these investments in action.
Other initiatives — like social housing upgrades, increased cycling paths, and smart thermostats — will also help lower bills and emissions.
By law, we are required to report back on these investments every year. Citizens can track our progress.
Our plan is different from the expensive carbon tax some prefer. But we also believe it’s better.
As Ontario’s independent Environmental Commissioner said in her annual report, “putting a price on carbon by itself would not be enough to achieve Ontario’s reduction targets . . . Ontario needs complementary emission reduction measures.”
It’s these additional investments that separate our plan from the rest.
We’ve consulted with Ontarians and we know that fighting climate change responsibly is something they want.
I would encourage you to read our Climate Change Action Plan and make up your own mind about our plan to cap pollution and invest in low-carbon choices for residents and businesses. Chris Ballard Minister of the Environment and Climate Change