Ontario cancelling cap and trade akin to pulling out of climate framework: feds

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OTTAWA — The federal government sees Ontario’s cancellation of its cap and trade program as equivalent to withdrawing from the national climate change framework — and is reconsidering more than $400 million in funding as a result.

A spokeswoman for Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says the $420 million earmarked for Ontario under the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund is under review, since funding is contingent on agreeing to the framework, which includes imposing a carbon price.

Newly elected Ontario Premier Doug Ford has rescinded the previous Liberal government’s regulation that established the cap and trade program in 2017.

That has prompted Canada to immediately hit the brakes on Ontario’s portion of the $1.4-billion climate change fund.

In April, McKenna and former Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne signed a plan to provide $100 million to the Green Ontario Fund, which offered rebates to homeowners, business owners and farmers who make energy efficient upgrades to buildings and equipment.

McKenna’s spokeswoman says none of that $100 million had actually flowed yet, and likely won’t until the government is done re-evaluating the situation.

The Canadian Press