Ontarians were completely divided when Doug Ford announced he was going to be cancelling the cap and trade program, also known as the Carbon Tax, in order to lower gas prices in the province.
While we all love lower gas prices, and many people were excited about not having to pay extra taxes, this move was also met with a lot of controversy. Ontarians have expressed concerns not only about the impact it'll have on the environment but also all the rebates that were associated with the cap and trade program, like for smart homes and electric vehicles.
Anchorman Canada episode for (11.23.2018)
Re-enactment of Ontario cancelling cap-and-trade. pic.twitter.com/Sknz2YSHg3— Mike P. Moffatt 🇨🇦🏅🏅 (@MikePMoffatt) October 16, 2018
No tax is needed. Work with industry to increase fuel efficiency by 10% and improve housing construction insulation standards. Lead with a carrot and not the stick.— ACraftBeerLover (@ACraftBeerLover) 6 October 2018
As if this move wasn't controversial enough, now the Financial Accountability Office has released a report revealing that over the next 4 years, cancelling the cap and trade program will cost Ontario $3 billion in lost revenue.
This report also states that any savings that were made by cancelling cap and trade have been completely cancelled out and offset by this major deficit, putting the Ontario budget in a bad position.
Whether or not you thought cancelling the carbon tax was a good idea, most Ontarians can agree that costing the province an extra $3 billion dollars is bad for everybody.
According to a Queen's Park reporter, in response to the report during question period, Rod Phillips, the Environment Minister of Ontario, tried to spin the loss as savings for people. So, as of right now, it is unclear whether the government will make any other cuts to services or programs to make up for the lost $3 billion.
In question period @RodPhillips01 spins this report from the budget watchdog as a savings for Ontarians. While there are savings for individuals, it leaves taxpayers with a multi-billion hole in the budget. https://t.co/kkID6BasEw #onpoli— Marieke Walsh (@MariekeWalsh) October 16, 2018
Cancelling the cap and trade program was a campaign promise made by Doug Ford to lower gas prices in the province by around 10 cents per litre, which has happened to a degree in some places.
Doug Ford is now on a crusade to challenge the federal carbon tax as well and has teamed up with the Premier of Saskatchewan to challenge Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on it.