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

Doug Ford

The government said it would immediately start an orderly wind-down of all programs funded out of cap-and-trade carbon tax revenues.

It remains unclear how much exiting the cap-and-trade program will cost Ontario, which is part of a larger program with Quebec and California, and what will happen with the almost $3 billion in credits that companies have already purchased.

"Cap-and-trade and carbon tax schemes are no more than government cash grabs that do nothing for the environment, while hitting people in the wallet in order to fund big government programs", said Ford.

Doug Ford said that when considering the future of the initiatives and programs begun earlier, the government will make the decision in each case, attracting money from the tax budget of the province.

The PC Party won a majority government after campaigning on axing cap-and-trade, which forced large companies to buy allowances for their carbon emissions. To be exact, Ford promises to cut gas costs by 10 cents a litre.

In order to scrap the program, the premier must first amend or rescind the legislation that governs it, said Keith Brooks, program director for the advocacy group Environmental Defence.

However, there's no indication of what the new government plans to do to curb skyrocketing ticket prices on resale websites.

Brooks said cap-and-trade not only funds emissions-cutting programs - from social housing retrofits to cycling infrastructure - but is a system businesses have already invested in.

The NDP and the Greens have said Ford's rush to pull out of the cap-and-trade system could stick taxpayers with the tab for billions in legal fees, penalties and other costs.

According to the report, Premier Ford's office confirmed Tuesday that the government is "suspending a portion of the law" that would cap the resale price of tickets at 50% above face value, which was set to take effect July 1. A spokesman for Ford said the ministers' offices are not now staffed and requests for comment should go to the premier's office.

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