Chamber of Commerce far and wide want cap and trade delayed


Today, twenty chambers of commerce from across Ontario called for a deferral of the provincial government’s Cap-and-Trade program scheduled to be implemented January 1st, 2017, citing high costs of the program layered of top of skyrocketing electricity prices, lack of sector-by-sector economic impact information and a change in policy direction in the United States.

In Ontario, since 2004, electricity prices have increased by 383%, from a flat rate of 4.7 cents a kilowatt hour to 18 cents a kilowatt hour at peak times. The introduction of the cap-and-trade system will add further charges on natural gas, gasoline and diesel fuel that will be keenly felt by every individual and business in Ontario.

Rory Ring, CEO of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce (SSMCOC) notes that “businesses are already struggling under the weight of ever increasing costs and we are extremely concerned about the impacts of these additional charges on jobs and the economy.”

All of the Chambers involved in today’s call for deferral are extremely concerned that Ontario’s cap and trade implementation may unintentionally result in the removal of jobs and investment from clean grids in Ontario to much dirtier grids in the U.S. and elsewhere.”

Despite repeated requests by Ontario’s chambers of commerce, the Ontario government has not provided a sector by sector economic analysis on the expected impact of cap and trade implementation. Further, the United States’ President Elect and a vast majority of states seem unlikely to participate in any cap-and-trade programming. For these reasons, the twenty Ontario chambers of commerce involved in today’s deferral call are requesting that the Ontario government delay the implementation of the cap-and-trade program for at least one year until its impacts on the economy, on trade and on competition can be properly assessed.

Those Chambers lending their name to the call for deferral include:
· Sault Ste Marie Chamber of Commerce
· Ajax Pickering Chamber of Commerce
· Burlington Chamber of Commerce
· Chatham-Kent Chamber of Commerce
· Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce
· Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce
· Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce
· Hamilton Chamber of Commerce
· Ingersoll Chamber of Commerce
· Kingston Chamber of Commerce
· London Chamber of Commerce
· North Bay Chamber of Commerce
· Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce
· Newmarket Chamber of Commerce
· Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce
· St Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce
· Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce
· Tillsonburg District Chamber of Commerce
· Timmins Chamber of Commerce
· Windsor-Essex Chamber of Commerce

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