October 13, 2016
Rt. Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
House of Commons
Rt. Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,
We both agree that climate change is a serious problem that needs true political leadership.
That is why, last March in Ottawa, I made it clear that the Ontario PC Caucus supports putting a revenue neutral price on carbon to protect our environment today without hurting our fragile economy.
Recently, you announced a similar policy. You acknowledged that any carbon price at the federal level must be revenue neutral, with all of the money returned to the province from which it came. I agree. But we can do better.
A revenue neutral carbon price at the provincial level is better. It will not only result in emissions reductions, but will give money back to taxpayers. However, the Ontario Wynne Government is refusing to give the money back to taxpayers.
Will you publicly support the principle that any revenue collected from a carbon pricing scheme within a province be returned directly to the taxpayers of that province?
Secondly, I have grave concerns that the cap and trade plan endorsed by Premier Wynne's Government does not have Ontario's best interests at heart. Cap and trade will force Ontario businesses to send more than $300 million by 2020 to California to purchase carbon allowances. That number will escalate to nearly $3 billion by 2030. That money should be re-invested in Ontario by businesses to fight climate change and create jobs.
Worst of all, Ontario's environment will not be better off. Cap and trade will see Ontario take credit for nearly 15 megatonnes of emissions reductions that occur 4,000 kilometers away. Polluters in Ontario should pay to fight climate change, not to subsidize the California economy.
Therefore, I ask that you remove cap and trade as an eligible carbon pricing system for the province of Ontario so we can keep our economy competitive and actually protect our environment for generations to come.
Patrick Brown, MPP
Leader of the Official Opposition