Ontario's recently elected premier, Doug Ford, today announced his Conservative government has cancelled the cap-and-trade carbon tax plan implemented by his predecessor, Kathleen Wynne.
Among other things, the new government said the move will allow it to cut gasoline prices by $0.10/litre and also signals the start of a winding down of "all programs funded out of cap-and-trade carbon tax revenues."
One of the programs potentially on the chopping block is that for electric vehicle incentives, which grants rebates of up to $14,000 to Ontario residents who buy battery electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles.
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Earlier this year, reports indicated Canadian gas prices would be the highest the country had seen in five to 10 years. Premier Ford has said his planned 10-cent gas price cut will come courtesy of a nearly five-cent reduction in provincial fuel tax, while the balance would be one of the results of eliminating the cap-and-trade program.
The government's press release states that it may continue to fund "specific initiatives" out of general tax revenue, but the decisions on which ones it will keep will be "made on a case-by-case basis."
Even if the EV rebate program is scrapped, the government may put in place a sunset clause as it did with the SaveOn program for energy-saving home retrofits to give buyers considering an EV some more time to make their purchase.
We reached out to the government for details, including when Ontarians can expect to see gas prices go down, but did not immediately get a response. We'll give you an update when we hear back from the Premier's office.