June 15, 2018
TORONTO - Unifor urges Premier-Designate Ford to reconsider abandoning cap-and-trade following today's announcement that ending it will be his government's first act.
“Working families, not some elites, are already bearing the brunt of climate change through extreme weather events like flooding,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “On behalf of Unifor members and our families, I urge Ford to reflect on his duty as Premier to leave our environment better for the next generation, not continue to do damage until we can no longer reverse the affects.”
Ontario’s current cap-and-trade program has generated $2.4 billion in carbon revenue that is dedicated to help Ontario families and businesses further reduce emissions through the Green Investment Fund. Ontario’s participation in the Western Climate Initiative has been a success, incentivising firms to invest in low-carbon energy and providing stability to other participants in the initiative, including Quebec.
If the Ontario Government pulls out of the Western Climate Initiative and does not initiate an alternative carbon pricing mechanism, then a federal carbon tax will be imposed, something that Ford also stated he would challenge.
“Workers in Ontario need forward-looking policies with the intention to build a green economy, but instead Ford announced his intention to cancel a successful program and pick an unnecessary fight with the federal government,” said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. “Workers accept that climate change is real and need our government to lead with a real, predictable plan to reduce emissions and grow green jobs.”
Nearly 150 of Ontario’s largest industrial emitters are included in the cap-and-trade system, one-quarter of which are Unifor workplaces.