THUNDER BAY – ENVIRONMENT – Earlier this month Justin Trudeau clearly indicated that he will take a “medicare approach” to tackling climate change and let the provinces lead. As well, the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change released Ontario’s Climate Change Discussion Paper.
The discussion paper invites citizens, businesses and communities to share ideas about how to successfully fight climate change while fostering economic growth and keeping our businesses competitive. The paper is available on the Minister of Environment and Climate Change’s website.
I look forward to engaging in the feedback process, particularly on carbon pricing, which will be an essential tool in reducing greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate disruption, while helping to diversify the economy and advance the province’s clean technology sector.
A predictable price on carbon pollution will provide the much-needed market signal that will spur investment in clean tech in Ontario. Ontario is home to 35 percent of Canadian clean technology firms. According to Analytical Advisors, an Ottawa-based firm that monitors Canada’s clean technology sector, sales in B.C.’s clean technology industry increased by 48 percent in two years after the introduction of the province’s revenue neutral carbon tax in 2008. With a price on carbon pollution, Ontario’s clean tech industry will prosper.
Approximately half the world’s economy has a price on carbon pollution. Ontario will price carbon pollution soon. There already is a price on carbon pollution. Taxpayers are subsidizing the fossil industry and there are the billions of dollars in negative health and economic impacts of our fossil fuel economy.
For over four years now, Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada has been creating the political will for Carbon Fee and Dividend – which is a revenue neutral carbon tax where 100% of the dividends are returned back to the citizens. Carbon Fee and Dividend has the virtues of simplicity and predictability and unlike cap and trade is probably the least vulnerable to industry shenanigans. As well, Carbon Fee and Dividend, by virtue of its design, will spare ordinary families and people on fixed incomes the financial burden of transitioning to a low carbon economy. Thunder Bay’s MP, Bruce Hyer has championed Carbon Fee and Dividend in the House of Commons numerous times since November 19, 2013.
The Ontario Government is demonstrating great leadership in tackling the climate crisis. We are at a fork in the road and we could go down a prosperous path. It is not guaranteed yet. Thus, I encourage all Northern Ontario citizens to provide feedback to the Ontario government on your ideas for how to tackle climate change while creating economic prosperity for all Ontarians.
Thunder Bay residents can provide feedback in person on how to tackle climate change on March 3, Airlane Hotel Conference, 698 Arthur Street, 6pm to 8 pm.
Cathy Orlando, National Manager, Citizens’ Climate Lobby , Sudbury