Doug Ford’s first policy initiative as Premier Designate was to trumpet the end of:
“Ontario’s Cap-and-Trade Carbon Tax”
A press release issued by his office on 15 June 2018 reminded us what Ford had said during the campaign:
"I made a promise to the people that we would take immediate action to scrap the cap-and-trade carbon tax and bring their gas prices down. Today, I want to confirm that as a first step to lowering taxes in Ontario, the carbon tax's days are numbered."
Ford is, of course, conflating cap-and-trade and the carbon tax although, by now, he should know the difference.
“Cap-and-trade” caps the total level of greenhouse gas emissions by industry or across the economy. Emission allowances can then be bought and sold by companies operating in a specified sector/s. This mechanism creates a market price for greenhouse gas emissions and encourages companies to develop non-carbon or low carbon alternatives to fossil fuels.
A Carbon Tax is different. It puts a tax on greenhouse gas emissions or the carbon content of fossil fuels. The aim of both Cap-and-Trade and the Carbon Tax is the same - to drive down the use of carbon and, in so doing, save the planet.
All the available evidence suggests that Ford is a dumb petrolhead. And as a climate change denier he will be joining the swelling ranks of conservatives in Canada who are turning a blind eye to what is happening.
Climate change will impact catastrophically on people who are alive today.
In today’s Globe and Mail Gary Mason talks about the Carbon Tax debate “being filled with dishonesty”. He makes the valid point that those who oppose carbon pricing “should at least reveal their climate plans”.
Mason reminds us the Antarctic is melting at an alarming rate. But what about the Arctic, here in our own back yard?
40% of Canada is in the Arctic.
On Monday I was at the ROM for a terrific one-day symposium on the Far North. Michael Byers, 51, a law professor at the University of British Columbia, tells us 50% of Arctic sea ice has disappeared in his lifetime. We are now seeing the loss of 13% of sea ice every decade.
Sir John Franklin’s ships – HMS Erebus and HMS Terror – were trapped by sea ice in the North West Passage in the summer of 1846. Nowadays, cruise ships offer summer voyages into the very same North West Passage.
The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the planet as a whole.
Caribou herds are shrinking. Polar bears are starving. The whole fragile eco-system is on the brink of collapse.
And I am left wondering if Doug Ford has a view on this.