Our government’s initiative to keep our promise and scrap the Cap-and-Trade scheme, save an average family $260 per year and create an estimated 14,000 jobs stirred many residents into voicing opinions on both sides.
We must remain mindful of the principles at stake. Former Premier Kathleen Wynne saddled hard-working Ontarians with an additional tax they could not afford. Cap-and-Trade alone made gasoline 4.9 cents a litre more expensive than it should be, and drove up the cost to manufacture and transport goods in the Province. It hit poorest Ontarians hardest. Adding insult to injury, Cap-and-Trade redistributed funds from cash-strapped Ontario families to a small number of often well-off beneficiaries. It also gave the previous government the cover it needed to cut base funding across a wide range of services, including education. That wasn’t right. No amount of environmental concern can erase that scheme’s job-killing, regressive nature and the unbecoming use to which it was put. As a government, we can set ourselves clearer and more measurable objectives to improve our environment, such as cleaner air, cleaner water, better conservation and reduced waste. We will deliver on these commitments without resorting to increasing taxes on Ontarians, as we deliver on our promise to clean up Ontario’s finances and work for the people who, after 15 years of mismanagement, can finally see relief.
MPP Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry