Ontario Protecting People from the High Costs of a Provincial Carbon Tax
Province ensuring people have a say while continuing calls to scrap the federal carbon tax
February 13, 2024
Office of the Premier
The Ontario government is keeping costs down for people by introducing legislation that, if passed, would give Ontario voters a direct say over a new provincial carbon tax, cap-and-trade system or other carbon pricing program. This proposed legislation would protect people and businesses from the high cost of a provincial carbon tax by requiring the government to first obtain the consent of Ontario voters through a referendum before implementing a new provincial carbon pricing program.
“With the Bank of Canada’s high interest rates and the cost of living still so high, it’s never been more important to keep costs down for people and businesses,” said Premier Doug Ford. “I’ve always said, the carbon tax is the worst tax. It increases the cost of everything. We need to protect Ontario workers and families from the high cost of a carbon tax and we urge the federal government to do the same.”
The Ontario government continues to urge the federal government to apply the same carve out on home heating that was provided to Atlantic Canadian provinces or to eliminate the federal carbon tax entirely.
“We made a promise to fight the federal carbon tax and our government will continue to lead by example, giving Ontarians certainty that carbon pricing on the backs of taxpayers is not the way forward,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance. “Any new provincial carbon tax is unacceptable for Ontario residents who are seeing their hard-earned dollars stretched further than ever.”
This measure is part of upcoming legislation that will kick off the spring sitting of the legislature on February 20, 2024. The Get It Done Act will include a host of measures that, if passed, would build on the government’s commitments to date to streamline approvals for major infrastructure projects and housing, keep costs down for people and businesses and support economic growth for long-term prosperity.
- To help Ontario families and businesses keep costs down, the government extended the gas and fuel tax rate cuts through to June 30, 2024. Along with the rate cuts previously in place, this extension is expected to save households $260 on average since the cuts were first implemented in July 2022.
- In compliance with the federal Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, two forms of carbon pricing currently exist in Ontario: the Emissions Performance Standards (EPS) program for industrial emitters, and the federal fuel charge, which increases the cost of various types of transportation and heating fuels used by households and enterprises, including gasoline, diesel, natural gas, and propane.