Premier Ford moves to dismantle cap-and-trade program

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Ontario’s new premier has taken a step in his plan to dismantle the province’s cap-and-trade system, a move some observers say leaves businesses involved in the program grappling with uncertainty.

In a statement, Premier Doug Ford said he has revoked the regulation that outlines the carbon pricing system and his government will officially begin winding down all green programs funded through it.

Ford also took pains to assure stakeholders that his government would honour contracts and orders that have already been signed for projects funded by cap-and-trade, such as energy efficient insulation and window retrofits.

Some initiatives funded earlier by the program using tax base revenue will be considered on a case-to-case basis.

The Progressive Conservative leader, who was officially sworn in as premier Friday, had promised that cancelling cap-and-trade would be his first order of business.

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Ontario companies that have over the years bought close to $3 billion in permits under the cap-and-trade system are meanwhile wondering if and how they would be compensated for those permits. So far there haven’t been indications whether they will be compensated in some way.

Meanwhile 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.

The government’s website does not list contact information for the newly-appointed minister of the environment or any other cabinet members. A spokesman for Ford said the ministers’ offices are not currently staffed and requests for comment should go to the premier’s office. -CINEWS

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