Ford to officially wind down green programs funded through cap-and

Doug Ford

The Minister of Ontario Doug Ford said that his government will formally begin to curtail all the "green" program, which is funded by the sale of the government's quota, limiting harmful emissions.

However, it leaves businesses that bought C$2.8 billion ($2.1 billion) worth of allowances in limbo. "Today we are keeping that promise", he said in his statement Tuesday, reports iPolitics. Ford says in a new release that eliminating it will be the first step in lowering gas prices by 10 cents a litre and curbing other household costs.

It remains unclear how much exiting the cap-and-trade program will cost Ontario, which is part of a larger program with Quebec and California, and what will happen with the almost $3 billion in credits that companies have already purchased.

Ford's cancellation of Wynne's Climate Action Plan that was to spend $8.3 billion over five years from cap-and-trade revenues, means the cancellation of everything from government subsidies of up to $14,000 for people who buy electric cars, to some public transit projects.

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"All those entities that have purchased allowances, as they thought they were going to be required, are now wondering what's the value of allowances and whether they will need them or not", Berends said.

Earlier this year, the US state of California and two Canadian provinces - Ontario and Quebec - kicked off a cross-border auction of greenhouse gas emission credits to buy and sell in the cap and trade market in an effort to fight global warming.

In Ontario, Ford's decision is drawing criticism from the opposition and environmental groups. The agreement signed by the province said the government would endeavour to give a year's notice before pulling out but it's unclear whether Ford plans to do so, he said.

Ford also took aim at carbon taxes in general, calling them "no more than government cash grabs that do nothing for the environment".

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