Ontario’s Plan for the Environment

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Ontario’s Plan for the Environment
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Stephen Crawford

Stephen Crawford

A member of the Conservative Party of Ontario, Stephen Crawford is the Member of Provincial Parliament for Oakville. He was elected on June 7, 2018.

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On April 1st, 2019 the federal government imposed a carbon tax on the seniors, workers, families, and small businesses. This carbon tax will cost the average Ontario family $260 per year, and the Financial Accountability Officer confirms that the carbon tax will cost the average Ontario family approximately $648 per year by 2022. The federal government is charging you more with a carbon tax that has resulted in a 4.4 cent per litre increase in the price of gas.

The provincial government acknowledges the challenges of climate change. But the people of Ontario gave their provincial government the mandate to end Ontario’s Cap and Trade program and oppose the federal carbon tax. The federal government believes that a carbon tax is the only way to reduce carbon emissions, and fight climate change, but we know that is not the case. Ontario has always been an industrious province with an ability to innovate and find solutions without increasing taxes.

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Photo Credit: Cameron Dohetry

Indeed, it was former Progressive Conservative premier Mike Harris who took the first step towards a coal-free Ontario in 1999 by closing the Lakeview Generating Station in Mississauga, one of the biggest polluters in the Toronto area. Successive provincial governments and premiers took inspiration from this leadership and eventually decommissioned all of Ontario’s former coal powered generating stations.

Today, Ontario is leading the country in emissions reductions progress, but there is more work to be done.

The provincial government has recently announced our made in Ontario plan for the environment that will:

  1. ensure we have clean air and water
  2. take meaningful action to fight climate change (including meeting our 2030 targets of emissions reduction 30% below 2005 levels) without imposing a carbon tax
  3. encourage and empower individuals and communities to address litter and waste
  4. support conservation efforts across the province

It will ensure that polluters are held accountable with stronger enforcement and tougher penalties for breaking laws that protect our environment, and we will do this in a transparent way, making real-time information about monitoring, incidents and enforcement available to the public.

As a part of our plan to reduce emissions, we will redesign the emissions testing program for heavy-duty vehicles and strengthen on-road enforcement of emissions standards. Our government will also undertake a provincial impact assessment to identify where and how climate change is likely to impact Ontario’s communities, critical infrastructure, economies and natural environment. This will include a commitment to work with our municipal partners to improve municipal wastewater and storm water management. Together with empowering individuals and communities to address litter and waste, we will work with other provinces, territories and the federal government to develop a plastics strategy to reduce plastic waste and limit micro-plastics that can end up in our lakes and rivers.

Your input is important and valued. The provincial government has posted online for public consultation its plan on reducing litter and waste in our communities (including reducing plastics waste). Please consider visiting https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/013-4689 , to make your voice heard. The deadline to submit your feedback is April 20, 2019. 

For assistant with provincial matters, please contact my office at 905 845 5141, or by email at stephen.crawfordco@pc.ola.org.

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