#OntarioLiberals; #EnvironmentandClimateChangeCanada; #CatherineMcKenna
Ottawa, Aug 1 (Canadian-Media): The Liberal government of Ontario (Ontario Liberals) has decided to impose Ottawa's carbon price framework on provinces that don't have a pricing system of their own, media reports said.
But it is not considering to price carbon pollution after Canadian industry officials told of their concerns how the tax would impact competitiveness.
Environment and Climate Change Canada have decided raise the cutoff point for carbon taxes will have the biggest impact on companies that are already more efficient than the industry average, or close to the average.
Release of new guidelines by Environment and Climate Change Canada, to lower the percentage of emissions some polluters will have to pay the carbon tax on, are being processed.
The decision to raise the cutoff point for carbon taxes impact companies that are already more efficient than the industry average, or close to the average.
Their tax bill decline significantly, with some of the most efficient would be paying no carbon tax at all.
The tax liability of the worst polluters, whose emissions far exceed the average in their industries, would shrink too, but their tax savings will be much smaller.
Back in January, Catherine McKenna, Canada's Environment Minister had set the benchmark at 70 percent of an industry's average emissions performance, meaning companies would have to pay a tax on emissions they produced in excess of that benchmark.
McKenna's office confirmed to CBC News that they've adjusted the proposal to set the benchmark at 80per cent of the industry average of emissions — and 90 percent for producers of cement, iron and steel, lime and nitrogen fertilizer.
Emissions produced beyond that point would still be subject to the tax.
That plan is scheduled to come into effect in early 2019, and will be imposed on provinces that do not have a carbon pricing system of their own. The tax is set for $20 a tonne in 2019 and will rise to $50 in 2022.
The federal government says it's still talking to industries and will have more details this fall.
McKenna said today it's important to make big polluters pay, and that it will force them to reduce emissions and innovate
"But we have to do it in a smart way," she said during a visit to the Gaspésie region of Quebec. "I've always said the environment and economy go together, and we don't want to drive industry out of our country. We want to have the most energy efficient, smart industries here that create good jobs, at the same time do what we need to do to tackle emissions. And that's exactly what we're doing."
In one of his first moves as Ontario's new premier, Doug Ford announced the province would be getting out of the cap-and-trade system, and vowed to go to court, along with Saskatchewan, to fight Ottawa's carbon-tax plan.
Manitoba was reluctant to sign on to the federal government's plan until recently.
New Brunswick has an emissions reduction plan, but it has been criticized as inadequate by the federal government.
Alberta and B.C. already have a carbon tax, while Quebec is part of the cap-and-trade system Ontario plans to leave.
Nova Scotia is developing its own internal cap-and-trade system.
P.E.I. says its approach will be to lower the price of renewable energy to motivate people to do the right thing.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)