I oppose the government’s proposal; Bill 4: Cap and Trade Cancellation Act, 2018. The proposal is weak in terms of accountability to the people of Ontario and improving our environment. There are a number of areas in the proposed Bill where important pieces of information are vague and are left to be prescribed in regulation, at which time the government can do anything it wants without consulting Ontarians. For example, section 3(1) “The Government shall establish targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario and may revise targets from time to time.” The lack of commitment to a revision period allows the government to be less accountable to the people of Ontario. What is ‘time to time’? The same can be said for section 4(1) referring to a climate change plan prepared by the Minister which may be revised “from time to time.” In addition, although public notice of these targets and the climate change plan are mentioned in section 3(2) and 4(3), there is no mention of consulting the public on these targets. Regarding progress reports on Ontario’s climate change plan and progress to combat greenhouse gas emissions, “the Minister shall, on a regular basis, prepare reports in respect of the climate change plan” as set out in 5(1). Don’t you think the people of Ontario want a say in what topics the Minister should be reporting back to the public and how often they hear about progress? That is the only way Ontarians can be confident in the safety measures and progress made on the quality of their air, water, and ground. The proposal lacks any real information, and quite frankly, is doing an injustice to Ontarians. It just scraps what Ontarians had been consulted on by the previous government, and like every other proposed Bill going forward in the Premier’s short term of office, the Premier is demonstrating his ability to “go rogue” and do whatever he wants, where his interests lie. Of course the expected response to this would be that the Premier is fulfilling campaign promises. But when you advocate for scraping an evidence-based, detailed, and accountable climate change plan by framing it to Ontarians as saving money at the pump.. of course they will want that because you’re misinforming them and withholding important details about what this means longer term. The proposed Bill even barres any proceedings against the Crown. So not only are you, the government, telling Ontarians you can do whatever you want, you're also telling them that the court of law cannot be relied upon to remedy any issues or hold the government accountable. You are saying the government is above the law. This proposal will cost taxpayers more at the end of the day; it is causing a mess.
Submitted September 12, 2018 12:34 PM