Ford de­ter­mined to scrap On­tario’s ‘dis­as­trous’ cap-and-trade sys­tem

Journal Pioneer - - CANADA - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

A spokesman for Doug Ford says On­tario’s in­com­ing pre­mier is de­ter­mined to de­liver on his cam­paign prom­ise to scrap the “dis­as­trous” cap-and-trade sys­tem and fight a fed­eral car­bon tax. Ford’s pledge is caus­ing con­cern in Que­bec, a prov­ince that in­tro­duced a cap-and-trade sys­tem in 2013 and shares a car­bon mar­ket with On­tario and Cal­i­for­nia. Ford, whose Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tives won a ma­jor­ity of seats in the On­tario leg­is­la­ture, is cur­rently meet­ing with his tran­si­tion team to select his cab­i­net and pre­pare for his official swear­ing-in on June 29. Que­bec’s en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ter, Is­abelle Me­lan­con, says she is watch­ing closely to see who Ford will ap­point as her coun­ter­part and plans to stress the ben­e­fits of the cap-and­trade sys­tem. She says Que­bec Pre­mier Philippe Couil­lard did not raise the is­sue when he met with Ford a few days ago, but the two are set to meet again in July dur­ing the Coun­cil of the Fed­er­a­tion, an an­nual meet­ing of pro­vin­cial and ter­ri­to­rial lead­ers. A spokesman for Ford says the Tory leader is also com­mit­ted to fight­ing fed­eral rules set to kick in next year that re­quire prov­inces to have car­bon pric­ing in place - rules al­ready be­ing chal­lenged by the gov­ern­ments of Saskatchewan and Man­i­toba. “Doug Ford is com­mit­ted to stop­ping Justin Trudeau’s car­bon tax and pulling On­tario out of the dis­as­trous cap-and-trade scheme,” said Jeff Sil­ver­stein. “Doug Ford cam­paigned on this prom­ise and he will de­liver for the peo­ple of On­tario.” The cap-and-trade sys­tem aims to lower green­house gas emis­sions by putting caps on the amount of pol­lu­tion com­pa­nies in cer­tain in­dus­tries can emit. If they ex­ceed those lim­its they must buy al­lowances at quar­terly auc­tions or from other com­pa­nies that come in un­der their lim­its. The cap de­clines about four per cent each year to 2020, and as it de­creases, the govern­ment hopes com­pa­nies have more in­cen­tive to cut their emis­sions. On­tario has made close to $3 bil­lion in a se­ries of auc­tions since the sys­tem was in­tro­duced last year. Asked what it would mean for Que­bec if On­tario pulled out of the car­bon mar­ket, Me­lan­con said it was too early to com­ment on that pos­si­bil­ity.

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