Climate and energy investment did not figure prominently in yesterday’s news coverage of the Ontario provincial budget, but the document still got positive reviews from Pembina Ontario Regional Director Eli Angen.
“We’re pleased to see the provincial government continuing to invest in Ontario’s low-carbon economy,” Angen says in a release. “By keeping investment in transit infrastructure at about one-third of infrastructure expenditures, the provincial government is ensuring that our growing population will be supported by transportation options outside of the personal car.”
He added that the province’s transit investment is “twice what is being spent on provincial highways, so it’s encouraging to see that this government is looking ahead to a low-carbon future.”
Angen adds that the successful completion of Ontario’s first cap-and-trade auction will bring the province the revenue it needs to make “more confident investments” in its climate action plan. “The budget begins this process with a commitment of $50 million for cycling infrastructure,” he notes.
The budget also calls for a multimodal transportation strategy for northern Ontario, a decision Angen casts as a step down the road to a provincial freight management strategy. “Goods movement alone accounts for 10% of Ontario’s emissions,” he states.