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Ontario Institutions, Businesses to Receive $420 Million in Federal Funding as Ottawa Bypasses Queen’s Park

Public institutions and businesses in Ontario are in line to receive C$420 million in direct financial support from the federal Low-Carbon Economy Fund, after the Ford government cancelled the province’s carbon cap-and-trade program and failed to come up with another mechanism to meet the federal floor price on carbon.

“Our hope would have been to work with the provincial government on fighting pollution, tackling climate change, helping businesses with clean solutions, and helping Ontarians save money. But Mr. Ford has taken a different path, making polluting free, and cancelling hundreds of projects across communities in Ontario,” Environment and Climate Minister Catherine McKenna said Thursday, during a tour of the Rockwool Insulation plant in Milton, Ontario.

“If provincial governments under conservative leadership are going to step back, we are going to step up,” she added. “We owe it to Ontarians to support projects they have developed.”

The federal government set up the $2-billion low-carbon fund to help provinces reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet Canada’s commitments under the Paris Agreement, The Canadian Press recalls. “Ontario’s share came into question after Premier Doug Ford scrapped the province’s cap-and-trade program and cancelled climate funding,” the news agency notes. Now, the federal cheques will go directly “to cities, hospitals, universities, schools, and businesses to help with efficiency programs and other emission reduction efforts.

Greenpeace Canada Senior Energy Strategist Keith Stewart applauded the federal announcement, comparing it to efforts in the United States to work around Trump administration obstruction on climate change.

“This is good news for maintaining momentum on greening Ontario’s economy,” he told CP. “Just like communities dealing with Trump south of the border, Ontarians are going to have to find creative ways to work around a premier who can’t or won’t recognize the urgency of the climate crisis.”