Methane emissions and ground water contamination are not mentioned
Texaco gas station at night. Photo: Unsplash
On January 28, 2019, Growth Energy, an ethanol supporters group, submitted joint comments with the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) to the Government of Ontario, Canada, in support of the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan (Plan).
The Plan outlines the government’s commitment to addressing climate change through the protection of land, air, water, and reduction of waste and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Posted by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, the Plan would increase ethanol use in gasoline by 15 percent in 2025, increase the use of renewable gas and fuels, establish emission performance standards for large emitters, and provide financial assistance for emissions reduction initiatives.
Pleased with the Ontario Government’s proposal to increase the ethanol content of gasoline, Growth Energy and USGC highlight the “tremendous benefits to the public” MORE
When Ontario Premier Doug Ford claimed the federal government’s carbon tax would cause a recession in Ontario, many economists disagreed. And it seems most regular people do as well.
According to the first in a series of Clean Energy Canada / Abacus Data nationwide polls:
- Few Canadians (19%) expect a recession next year. If there were to be one, most (63%) say it would likely have more to do with global economic trends than domestic policies.
- When told Premier Ford warned the federal carbon tax would cause a recession in Ontario, almost two out of three across the country (64%), and in Ontario (63%), disagreed, believing he was overstating the impact.
- When respondents were presented with a question which noted that many economists had offered a contrary view, namely that the impact of the tax would be too small to cause a recession, even more people (73% in Ontario, 74% across Canada) rejected Mr. Ford’s contention.
The Syncrude oil sands extraction facility is reflected in a tailings pond near the city of Fort McMurray, Alta., on June 1, 2014. Economists are virtually unanimous in the view that carbon pricing reduces greenhouse-gas emissions at the lowest possible cost to the economy. JASON FRANSON/THE CANADIAN PRESS
As a group of economists, we still believe that facts should matter when it comes to making important policy decisions. Unfortunately, not everyone involved in the Canadian climate policy debate appears to agree. Myths and rhetoric are pushing the real facts to the sidelines. The result is a mix of confusion and polarization that is poisoning our public debate, and we are losing patience.
As a case in point, Ontario Premier Doug Ford recently claimed that carbon pricing will be a “total economic disaster” for the country and cause a “carbon-tax recession.” Despite the fact that this claim strongly contradicts almost all of the available empirical evidence on carbon pricing, we’re hearing it repeated more often.
So, let’s start with this fact: Economists are virtually unanimous in the view that carbon pricing reduces greenhouse-gas emissions at the lowest possible cost to the economy. Other policy approaches – such as intrusive and prescriptive regulations, or generous production or consumption subsidies – will cost the economy far more to achieve the same outcome.
In fact, carbon pricing appears to have negligible impacts on economic growth when it is well-designed. British Columbia has had carbon pricing since 2008, and its economy is one of the strongest in Canada. Quebec has had carbon pricing since 2013, and it is now experiencing an economic renaissance. Carbon pricing isn’t causing the growth in either case, but neither is it preventing it. No “economic disaster” in these provinces. Ditto for California, the United Kingdom and, for that matter, Ontario’s carbon-pricing system that lasted from 2015 until its repeal last year. MORE
NDP leader Andrea Horwath and Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliot speak to the legislature on Oct. 3, 2018. Photos by Carlos Osorio
An Ontario government request for an Ontario Provincial Police investigation into a leak of its secret plans for healthcare has prompted fresh concerns about what will happen if a friend of Premier Doug Ford gets to lead the provincial police force.
The Ford government called the OPP to launch a probe after an internal investigation concluded that an unnamed Ontario government employee was responsible for a massive leak of documents to the official Opposition NDP about the creation of a “super agency” to overhaul healthcare in the province. The employee has been fired.
“This is exhibit A of why Ron Taverner cannot be OPP commissioner,” said Liberal MPP Mitzie Hunter.
The province’s integrity commissioner is reviewing the nomination of Taverner, a close family friend of the premier, to the position of police commissioner. The nomination was announced after the government had modified the job description to ensure that he would qualify, iPolitics reported last fall. MORE
ANALYSIS: According to new files released by the NDP, the government has already taken steps to prepare for major structural changes to the health-care system. But they raise questions about much more than just privatization, writes John Michael McGrath
Mass privatization, two-tiered service and legal penalties might be the future for Ontario’s healthcare system
Leaked documents revealed this week that the Ford government is creating a new health “super agency” that will have the power to demand hospitals contract out services to private companies.
Advocates are warning the ‘super agency’ has, under the draft’s terms, the power to demand effectively any part of Ontario’s health service contract out to any one it mandates, with few limits.
“This draft is a bombshell,” Ontario Health Coalition executive director Natalie Mehra told PressProgress. “I’ve seen seven health ministers and all their legislation for two decades,” Mehra said. “This one is an omnibus bill that would result in controversial amendments to dozens of other pieces of legislation. This one reaches further than any piece of legislation has before.” MORE
Anti-poverty advocates and basic income pilot project participants gather Monday outside Osgoode Hall, where the Ontario Superior Court is being asked to overturn the Ford government’s decision to cancel the anti-poverty initiative. (ANDREW FRANCIS WALLACE / TORONTO STAR)
Ontario Superior Court justices blasted the Ford government Monday for saying participants in the now-cancelled basic income pilot project were wrong to expect the study to run for three years.
Despite signing documents that said they would receive income for “up to” three years, it was not a “guarantee of three years,” government lawyer Christopher Thompson argued before the three-judge panel being asked to overturn the decision to kill the project.
But an incredulous Justice Fred Myers took aim at Thompson’s legal parsing of the English language.
“Are you here to suggest that the Liberal government under (then) premier (Kathleen) Wynne didn’t intend this to be a three-year program? You are lawyering like crazy over two words,” Myers said, leaning forward in his chair. “Of course it intended it to be a three-year program … It’s perfectly obvious.” MORE
Greenpeace Canada and Ecojustice will see Ontario in court in April over government’s failure to consult the public after cancelling cap and trade
Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford attends a meeting of the premiers of Canadian provinces on Dec. 7, 2018, in Montreal. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the meeting. MARTIN OUELLET-DIOTTE/GETTY IMAGES
TORONTO, 26 January 2019 — The Ford government’s attempt to dismiss a court case against them brought by Greenpeace Canada, represented by Ecojustice, has failed. The organizations filed a lawsuit against the Government of Ontario for unlawfully failing to consult the public when it ended Ontario’s cap and trade program. In early January, the government brought a motion to stop the case, arguing that there was no point in proceeding because the regulation to revoke cap and trade is no longer in force. On Friday, the court rejected this argument and said the case should proceed.
Keith Stewart, Senior Energy Strategist with Greenpeace Canada, said:
“We are eager for Doug Ford’s government to have to answer for their actions over cap and trade, and glad that Greenpeace will get our day in court to protect the environment and Ontarians’ democratic rights. This is an important reminder that not even Doug Ford is above the law.”
Professor Amir Attaran, lawyer for the Ecojustice-uOttawa Environmental Law Clinic, said:
“The Ford government broke the law when it illegally failed to consult the public. We’re going to court to remind Premier Ford that winning an election does not give his government carte blanche to ignore the legal rights of Ontarians to be consulted on major changes to the laws and regulations that protect them from climate change.
While the provincial government continues to roll back progress made on environmental protection, Ontarians have made it clear that the vast majority want decisive climate action.
Before the government passed the legislation to eliminate the cap-and-trade system, a consultation process received 11,000 comments with more than 99 per cent in support of putting a price on harmful emissions and maintaining the cap-and-trade system that supports investment and clean energy job creation. Thank you to those who submitted comments. It’s unacceptable for the government to scrap a program that has such overwhelming public support.
You have another chance to tell the government that its new weakened environment and climate plan fails to protect Ontarians from climate risk and sets us on a dangerous path of missed economic, energy and job-creation opportunities. TAKE ACTION!
NB: This consultation closes at 11:59 p.m. on January 28, 2019