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On Nov. 13, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Environment Minister Glen Murray circulated a discussion paper to industry and business groups outlining some of their proposals for a cap-and-trade scheme.
Unfortunately, the people who will ultimately bear the cost of the program — the public, which will face higher prices on everything from fuel to manufactured goods — are not part of this “discussion.” In fact, the so-called “discussion paper” is not even available on the Ministry of the Environment website.
The 66-page document might as well have been written in another language for all the clarity of terms it provides. But a careful review of the paper provides some insight into what Wynne and Murray are actually planning in regards to cap-and-trade, and what it will mean for your pocketbook.
One cute euphemism in the discussion paper is “border carbon adjustment.” This is bureaucratese for a tariff — a tax paid on goods when they cross the border. The government is proposing throwing up trade barriers by applying tariffs to imported goods based on the greenhouse gases emitted during their production.
The minister identified fuel and electricity as key sectors where such tariffs could be applied. The cost of the tariffs will be passed on to consumers. Apparently the minister thinks Ontarians aren’t paying enough for gas and electricity.
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