Queen’s Park – During Question Period today, NDP Energy Critic, Peter Tabuns, said the Wynne government’s new climate change action plan fails to address the disproportionate burdens on rural and Northern communities, and low-income Ontarians, in the transition to a low-carbon future.
“Today the government finally released its climate change plan. This plan is long overdue and much-needed. But for this plan to sustain public support, it needs to be fair, effective and transparent,” Tabuns said. “Low-income, rural and northern communities face a disproportionate burden. Climate change action will cost them more of their income than other Ontarians. They will need some extra help. But when you look at the percentage of total spending, this plan offers very little support for these communities.”
“Why does this action plan offer so little support to low income, rural and northern communities?” Tabuns said.
The NDP proposed that Ontario follow California’s example by dedicating at least 25 per cent of cap-and-trade funds to programs that directly benefit low income, rural and northern communities who are facing a disproportionate burden. The Wynne government rejected the NDP proposal.
“Out of the $8.3 billion the minister wants to spend, northerners will only get between one and $4 million to replace their wood stoves,” Tabuns said. “How can the minister sustain public support for his climate change action plan, when he won’t address the unfair burdens carried by low-income, rural and northern communities?”