Call for Deferral in Provincial Cap & Trade Program to prevent jobs #LSN_Econ
THUNDER BAY– December 20, 2016, (LSN) Today the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce joined 20 Chambers of Commerce across Ontario called for a deferral of the scheduled to be implemented January 1, 2017, citing high costs of the program layered of top of skyrocketing electricity prices, lack of sector by sector economic impact, as well as a change in policy direction in the United States.
In Ontario, since 2004, electricity prices have increased by 383%, from a flat rate of 4.7 cents per kilowatt hour to 18 cents a kilowatt hour at peak times. The introduction of the cap and trade system will add further charges on natural gas, gasoline and diesel fuel that will be keenly felt by every individual and business in Ontario.
Charla Robinson, President of the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce says, “Businesses are already struggling under the weight of ever increasing costs and we are extremely concerned about the impacts of these additional charges on jobs and the economy.”
The Thunder Bay Chamber’s analysis indicates that both large and small businesses will be significantly impacted by higher costs, anticipating nearly $10 million in cap and trade charges on natural gas alone for Thunder Bay CMA. Local gasoline and diesel figures have not yet been obtained but are expected to be significant.
Robinson continued, “We are very concerned that the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change has not provided a sector-by-sector economic impact analysis. Ontario has already lost hundreds of millions of investment to other jurisdictions like New York and Ohio due to high electricity prices, layering on cap and trade will no doubt make it much worse. The unintended impact of Ontario’s cap and trade may result in a removal of jobs and investment from clean grids in Ontario to much dirtier grids in the U.S. and elsewhere.”