Ontario preparing legal, public relations battle over feds' carbon tax

News Feb 26, 2019 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government is preparing to lay ground fire in its battle against the federal government’s proposed carbon tax.

Environment Minister Rod Phillips told about 45 members of the Hamilton chapter of the Macdonald-Cartier club Feb. 21 at Carmen’s C Hotel on the mountain, the province will use “whatever tools at our disposal to make sure Ontarians understand the impact of the carbon tax.”

He said as Ontario prepares to take its $30 million legal fight to the courts, the province said the carbon tax is a “cash grab to raise revenue for the federal government.”

The carbon tax will raise prices on everything from food to home energy to gasoline, he said, and cost about $648 per year per family in 2022.

“I know this will be an election issue,” said Phillips, former chair of Postmedia.

Phillips boasted about one of his first decisions in office was to eliminate the former Liberal government’s cap and trade program.

“We have nothing to be anything but proud of in terms of the commitments made and the plan that I introduced will hit the federal government’s (greenhouse emission) targets.”

Ontario, along with Saskatchewan, which the Ford government is supporting in its legal fight against the carbon pricing policy, argues the carbon plan is “fundamentally overreach” by the federal government, said Phillips.

And Phillips doesn’t understand why since Ontario is within reach to meet its climate target of 30 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions to 2005 levels.

“We have already reduced (the emissions) to 22 per cent,” he said. “Ontarians have nothing to be ashamed of.”

Phillips released last fall its climate change plan called Preserving and Protecting our Environment for Future Generations: A Made-in-Ontario Plan that the minister argues will keep the province working toward meeting the emissions-reduction goals in the Paris Accord.

A major part of the plan is committing $400 million over four years to work with the private sector on developing clean technology to reduce emissions.

Canada has committed to reducing emissions by 30 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030.

A large part of the cuts in emissions was the closing of the coal-fired plants conducted by the past Liberal government, but that Phillips claimed was initiated by former Progressive Conservative Environment Minister Elizabeth Witmer.

Witmer in 2001 ordered the Lakeview Electrical Generating Station in Mississauga to stop burning coal by 2005 and introduced strict new pollution limits for Ontario’s six coal-fired power stations.

He said as Ontario has cut its emissions, the rest of Canada has seen rates climb by three per cent.

Phillips said his discussions with federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna have seen more disagreements over Ontario’s climate change direction.

“I have told the federal environment minister there is no value to being dogmatic,” he said. “We are working toward the same target. It is enormously frustrating.”

A request for comment from the federal environment ministry was acknowledged last week. But since then, there has been no comment from McKenna or from ministry officials.

McKenna told Hamilton Community News last summer that the Ontario government was ignoring the economic opportunities of climate change programs.

“It’s really unfortunate Doug Ford (is using) $30 million to fight climate action,” said McKenna. "We are very confident with our plan. If you want to create jobs, if you want to grow the economy, you better have a climate plan.”

McKenna has also slammed Ford’s decisions to axe 758 renewable energy contracts, cutting $100 million in school repairs provided by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction fund, and scrapping millions of dollars to develop electric buses including $2 million for Hamilton.

In addition, eliminating the Liberal’s cap and trade system could cost taxpayers about $4 billion, say independent analysts.

“The Doug Ford government is costing folks money,” she said. “Unfortunately, Ontario wants to go back in time.”

Phillips told Hamilton Community News the $30 million price tag to fight the carbon plan is “money well spent."

“This tax is unnecessary. It’s unaffordable for Ontarians,” said Phillips.

Ontario Environment Minister Rod Phillips says province laying ground work to battle feds' carbon tax

News Feb 26, 2019 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government is preparing to lay ground fire in its battle against the federal government’s proposed carbon tax.

Environment Minister Rod Phillips told about 45 members of the Hamilton chapter of the Macdonald-Cartier club Feb. 21 at Carmen’s C Hotel on the mountain, the province will use “whatever tools at our disposal to make sure Ontarians understand the impact of the carbon tax.”

He said as Ontario prepares to take its $30 million legal fight to the courts, the province said the carbon tax is a “cash grab to raise revenue for the federal government.”

The carbon tax will raise prices on everything from food to home energy to gasoline, he said, and cost about $648 per year per family in 2022.

“I know this will be an election issue,” said Phillips, former chair of Postmedia.

Phillips boasted about one of his first decisions in office was to eliminate the former Liberal government’s cap and trade program.

“We have nothing to be anything but proud of in terms of the commitments made and the plan that I introduced will hit the federal government’s (greenhouse emission) targets.”

Ontario, along with Saskatchewan, which the Ford government is supporting in its legal fight against the carbon pricing policy, argues the carbon plan is “fundamentally overreach” by the federal government, said Phillips.

And Phillips doesn’t understand why since Ontario is within reach to meet its climate target of 30 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions to 2005 levels.

“We have already reduced (the emissions) to 22 per cent,” he said. “Ontarians have nothing to be ashamed of.”

Phillips released last fall its climate change plan called Preserving and Protecting our Environment for Future Generations: A Made-in-Ontario Plan that the minister argues will keep the province working toward meeting the emissions-reduction goals in the Paris Accord.

A major part of the plan is committing $400 million over four years to work with the private sector on developing clean technology to reduce emissions.

Canada has committed to reducing emissions by 30 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030.

A large part of the cuts in emissions was the closing of the coal-fired plants conducted by the past Liberal government, but that Phillips claimed was initiated by former Progressive Conservative Environment Minister Elizabeth Witmer.

Witmer in 2001 ordered the Lakeview Electrical Generating Station in Mississauga to stop burning coal by 2005 and introduced strict new pollution limits for Ontario’s six coal-fired power stations.

He said as Ontario has cut its emissions, the rest of Canada has seen rates climb by three per cent.

Phillips said his discussions with federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna have seen more disagreements over Ontario’s climate change direction.

“I have told the federal environment minister there is no value to being dogmatic,” he said. “We are working toward the same target. It is enormously frustrating.”

A request for comment from the federal environment ministry was acknowledged last week. But since then, there has been no comment from McKenna or from ministry officials.

McKenna told Hamilton Community News last summer that the Ontario government was ignoring the economic opportunities of climate change programs.

“It’s really unfortunate Doug Ford (is using) $30 million to fight climate action,” said McKenna. "We are very confident with our plan. If you want to create jobs, if you want to grow the economy, you better have a climate plan.”

McKenna has also slammed Ford’s decisions to axe 758 renewable energy contracts, cutting $100 million in school repairs provided by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction fund, and scrapping millions of dollars to develop electric buses including $2 million for Hamilton.

In addition, eliminating the Liberal’s cap and trade system could cost taxpayers about $4 billion, say independent analysts.

“The Doug Ford government is costing folks money,” she said. “Unfortunately, Ontario wants to go back in time.”

Phillips told Hamilton Community News the $30 million price tag to fight the carbon plan is “money well spent."

“This tax is unnecessary. It’s unaffordable for Ontarians,” said Phillips.

Ontario Environment Minister Rod Phillips says province laying ground work to battle feds' carbon tax

News Feb 26, 2019 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government is preparing to lay ground fire in its battle against the federal government’s proposed carbon tax.

Environment Minister Rod Phillips told about 45 members of the Hamilton chapter of the Macdonald-Cartier club Feb. 21 at Carmen’s C Hotel on the mountain, the province will use “whatever tools at our disposal to make sure Ontarians understand the impact of the carbon tax.”

He said as Ontario prepares to take its $30 million legal fight to the courts, the province said the carbon tax is a “cash grab to raise revenue for the federal government.”

The carbon tax will raise prices on everything from food to home energy to gasoline, he said, and cost about $648 per year per family in 2022.

“I know this will be an election issue,” said Phillips, former chair of Postmedia.

Phillips boasted about one of his first decisions in office was to eliminate the former Liberal government’s cap and trade program.

“We have nothing to be anything but proud of in terms of the commitments made and the plan that I introduced will hit the federal government’s (greenhouse emission) targets.”

Ontario, along with Saskatchewan, which the Ford government is supporting in its legal fight against the carbon pricing policy, argues the carbon plan is “fundamentally overreach” by the federal government, said Phillips.

And Phillips doesn’t understand why since Ontario is within reach to meet its climate target of 30 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions to 2005 levels.

“We have already reduced (the emissions) to 22 per cent,” he said. “Ontarians have nothing to be ashamed of.”

Phillips released last fall its climate change plan called Preserving and Protecting our Environment for Future Generations: A Made-in-Ontario Plan that the minister argues will keep the province working toward meeting the emissions-reduction goals in the Paris Accord.

A major part of the plan is committing $400 million over four years to work with the private sector on developing clean technology to reduce emissions.

Canada has committed to reducing emissions by 30 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030.

A large part of the cuts in emissions was the closing of the coal-fired plants conducted by the past Liberal government, but that Phillips claimed was initiated by former Progressive Conservative Environment Minister Elizabeth Witmer.

Witmer in 2001 ordered the Lakeview Electrical Generating Station in Mississauga to stop burning coal by 2005 and introduced strict new pollution limits for Ontario’s six coal-fired power stations.

He said as Ontario has cut its emissions, the rest of Canada has seen rates climb by three per cent.

Phillips said his discussions with federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna have seen more disagreements over Ontario’s climate change direction.

“I have told the federal environment minister there is no value to being dogmatic,” he said. “We are working toward the same target. It is enormously frustrating.”

A request for comment from the federal environment ministry was acknowledged last week. But since then, there has been no comment from McKenna or from ministry officials.

McKenna told Hamilton Community News last summer that the Ontario government was ignoring the economic opportunities of climate change programs.

“It’s really unfortunate Doug Ford (is using) $30 million to fight climate action,” said McKenna. "We are very confident with our plan. If you want to create jobs, if you want to grow the economy, you better have a climate plan.”

McKenna has also slammed Ford’s decisions to axe 758 renewable energy contracts, cutting $100 million in school repairs provided by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction fund, and scrapping millions of dollars to develop electric buses including $2 million for Hamilton.

In addition, eliminating the Liberal’s cap and trade system could cost taxpayers about $4 billion, say independent analysts.

“The Doug Ford government is costing folks money,” she said. “Unfortunately, Ontario wants to go back in time.”

Phillips told Hamilton Community News the $30 million price tag to fight the carbon plan is “money well spent."

“This tax is unnecessary. It’s unaffordable for Ontarians,” said Phillips.