Patty Hajdu – Time to take action on climate change

Leaders Ledger

Minister Hajdu spoke on Budget 2019 with Thunder Bay Media

THUNDER BAY – EDITORIAL – Canadians are feeling the costs of an already changing climate. Here in Ontario, we felt it last spring when powerful winds in spring caused $1 billion in property damage only to be followed by summer’s endless heatwaves that left our elderly and vulnerable neighbours suffering. Canadians expect their governments to take action on climate change. We’re working with Canadians to support practical, proven, and affordable solutions to cutting pollution and to transition to a cleaner future with good jobs.

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 has to 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.

While Conservatives have made a lot of noise over the past few days about the increased costs to drive our vehicles and heat our homes, the truth is that the average family of four will pay $244 this year. But when you file your 2018 taxes you’ll get your Climate Action Incentive rebate, based on the size of your household. So that same family of four will get $307, more than enough to offset the price of pollution. And if you live in a rural area, it’s 10% higher! 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. Our pricing plan is a practical and affordable way to cut the pollution that is causing climate change.

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 Canadians. 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.

Patty Hajdu
Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Superior North

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