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LETTER: Ontario could make billions with its own carbon tax

'Canadians need to know the truth,' says letter writer
2021-11-22 Ford Second Career 1
Premier Doug Ford is shown in this file photo.

BarrieToday welcomes letters to the editor at [email protected] or via the website. Please include your full name, daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letter is in response to a letter regarding the federal carbon tax, published March 22.

I am writing to say I agree with the previous letter by Annabelle Groves (blaming the provinces for the lack of addressing carbon taxes).

In October 2018, the Ford government axed Ontario’s cap and trade program, which linked markets with Quebec and California. Ford’s environment minister, Rod Phillips, said, “It was costly. It was ineffective. It was killing jobs. It’s gone today.”

The Parliament of Canada passed the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act in the fall of 2018 under Bill C-74. Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick refused to impose their own emissions pricing, so the federal pricing came into effect on April 1, 2019. Residents of the four provinces pay more for gasoline and heating fuel.

The province made almost $3 billion in cap-and-trade auctions since the system was brought in by the Liberals. Ontario’s fiscal watchdog said cancelling cap and trade would cost $3 billion in ensuing years.

But note, according to Sustainable Biz Canada, “Quebec has been a member of the Western Climate Initiative since 2008 and formally linked its system with California’s in January 2014.” Quebec has received $371 million in revenue from the 29th auction of greenhouse gas emission units (December 2021). Until now, the carbon market has generated revenue of over $5.6 billion for Quebec.

Thanks to Ford’s ‘blindness,’ Ontario has been missing out on billions in revenue and is instead forced to pay the federal carbon tax (albeit we do receive the Canada Carbon Rebate, formerly known as the Climate action incentive payment).

Canadians need to know the truth about climate change and the federal carbon tax.

Pauline King