Week of March 11
KENORA – Northerners are feeling the costs of an already changing climate. Here in Ontario, we felt it last spring when powerful winds caused $1 billion in property damage only to be followed by summer’s endless heatwaves that left our elderly and vulnerable neighbours suffering. We know Northern Ontario is getting warmer, our seasons are getting shorter, and we are seeing an increase in tick and mosquito-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease. Canadians expect their governments to take action on climate change. We’re working to support practical, proven, and affordable solutions to cutting pollution and to transition to a cleaner future with good jobs.
Protecting our environment has been a key priority for our government since taking office in 2015. That’s why we’ve made sure that, across Canada, there’s a price on carbon pollution. Everyone knows that if it’s free to pollute, there will be more of it. It’s why putting a price on pollution must be a part of any credible climate plan. Unfortunately, Premier Ford thinks it should be free to pollute and so the federal pricing system will apply, with all the money collected staying here in Ontario. 90% will go right back to you in the form of the Climate Action Incentive to offset any increased costs. And 10% will help small- and medium-sized businesses and public buildings improve their energy efficiency.
When you file your 2018 taxes you’ll get your Climate Action Incentive rebate, based on the size of your household. A family of four will get $307, for example. Some of you might have already received the money by now. We worked hard to design a system that ensures the clean economy is affordable, and, in fact, almost everyone will be better off—8 out of 10 families will get more back than they pay.
Families residing in rural Ontario will receive an additional 10%, for a total rebate of $338 for a family of four. That’s more than the increase they will see in energy costs. To further support Canadians living in rural Canada we have made exemptions to carbon-pollution pricing, including off-grid communities who use diesel for electricity, as well as some flights to northern and remote areas. Our pricing plan is a practical and affordable way to cut the pollution that is causing climate change.
Pricing is just one part of Canada’s comprehensive climate plan. We’re investing in renewable energy and phasing out coal across the country by 2030. Ontario’s coal phase-out was the single largest emission reduction measure in North America, taking the province from 53 asthma-inducing smog days in 2005 to zero. We’re working with businesses and governments to invest in energy efficiency projects that reduce emissions, save money, and create good jobs.
There are some who prefer to ignore climate change or want to use it to divide us. But the parents, grandparents, and business owners I talk to tell me that they want to tackle the problem and be part of the solution and cut their pollution. We all want clean air–and a clean, safe future for the next generation of Northerners. When we work together, across Canada, finding cleaner, smarter, better ways of doing things, we will be building an affordable economy that gives our kids and grandkids a head start in our low-carbon future.