Two years ago, Michael Brown, then the leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, supported a revenue neutral tax on carbon. As of last October, the Tory platform promised to end the Liberals’ cap-and-trade program by July 1, 2019. In its place the party would opt in to federal carbon pricing bench marks and return all proceeds of the program to Ontario taxpayers.
In a letter to Brown we wrote :
“By stating that you are supportive of a price on carbon, you have placed the Conservative Party of Ontario on the necessary path to remedying the principal risk to the future of our grandchildren. The path is not smooth nor strait but it must be taken.” (To read more go to our blog “A Climate Change Phoenix!” .)
Now that Brown has resigned as party leader, what position can we expect the Tories to take in this year’s Provincial election?
The “platforms” of the four candidates to succeed Brown share a common plank: they all promise to scrap the Ontario Government Cap and Trade Program that has just come into force. This program has recently generated substantial payments to the Ontario Treasury by the fossil fuel industry – which the PC’s will probably characterize as a tax grab
None of these candidates have taken a public position stressing the importance of measures to limit climate change. So, it is not surprising that they have not put forward concrete proposals as to the action they would take to replace Cap and Trade – if the party forms the next government !
The candidates may consider that the election of Donald Trump reduces the need for an activist platform on climate change. Trump successfully repealed climate change laws and programs established by the Obama administration. And he intends to take the US out of the Paris Accord.
The candidates are influenced by the policies of the Federal Conservative Party, which is opposing the Federal Government’s program to establish a common price on carbon throughout Canada. This program, the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, takes effect at the end of 2018. It is the center piece of Canada’s efforts to meet its emissions targets, as agreed to in the Paris Accord. Should the PC’s be elected as the new Government, this program could be significantly delayed, and perhaps even frustrated, by lack of support from the Province of Ontario,
On numerous occasions 4RG has confirmed its support for a Canada-wide price on carbon. As we did in the 2014 Provincial Election,, 4RG will ask all Ontario parties to state their policy on climate change, and the measures that should be taken to live up to our promises under the Paris Accord. And we will keep you up to date on their responses. But don’t be surprised if the PC’s don’t respond!
On the same subject go to:
Revised March 7