Costs of Ontario climate plan would be double Liberal carbon tax, raise household costs: report

A growing pile of research argues economy-wide carbon taxes are cheaper to administer than regulations targeting specific sources of emissions


Ontario Premier Doug Ford speaks at an anti-carbon tax rally in Calgary on Oct. 5, 2018.Leah Hennel/Postmedia

OTTAWA — Ontario’s climate plan would cost taxpayers twice as much as the federal Liberal carbon tax, a new report says, casting doubt on policies proposed by a handful of provinces as they mount a legal objection to Ottawa’s environmental ambitions.

A report set to be released Tuesday by Canadians for Clean Prosperity, an environmental think-tank, found that Ontario’s climate change policies would be 59 per cent more costly for businesses and households in 2022 compared with Ottawa’s carbon tax. That figure would fall to 50 per cent more expensive by 2030.

The findings align with a growing pile of research that argues economy-wide carbon taxes are cheaper to administer than regulations targeting specific sources of emissions, which ultimately trickle down and raise costs for consumers.

The federal carbon tax, which came into force at the beginning of 2019, has become a source of intense political discord in Canada. Provincial leaders in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick have all opposed Justin Trudeau’s environmental policies. Ontario and Saskatchewan are involved in legal appeals as part of an effort to overturn the carbon tax, and the battle is widely expected to reach the Supreme Court.

The Clean Prosperity report found that the cost of the Ontario plan would be more expensive largely because it would “cherry pick” certain sources of emissions to cut and would cost $334 million in 2022, or $62 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions removed. The federal plan would cost $214 million in 2022, or $40 per tonne, according to the report. SOURCE

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