Ontario’s environment watchdog says the province’s plan to fight climate change will impose a carbon tax on industry despite government assurances it would not use such a measure.
Environmental Commissioner Dianne Saxe says the Progressive Conservative government’s plan to introduce standards on the province’s largest emitters puts a price on carbon.
Saxe says the plan will not tax individual Ontario residents on fuel costs — as the now-repealed cap-and-trade system used to do — and is not as effective because buildings and transportation produce higher emissions levels than industry.
She says overall, the plan is not as ambitious as the previous Liberal government’s strategy to fight climate change and lacks key details around how clean technology will lower emissions.
The Tories scrapped cap and trade after winning a majority government in June and have launched a court challenge against the imposition of a federal carbon tax.
Ontario Environment Minister Rod Phillips says the Made-in-Ontario plan he unveiled Thursday will not impose a carbon tax, instead offering incentives to the private sector to help meet the province’s goals.