Unfortunately, that something is carbon emissions.
Premier Doug Ford’s government has done almost nothing on the bulk of the promises in the greenhouse-gas reduction plan Ontario introduced last November, according to a new report by an environmental watchdog group.
The report published Thursday by Environmental Defence examines the seven key actions Ontario pledged to cut carbon emissions in the province, and finds that little or no progress has been made on all but one.
The actions were laid out in the “Preserving and Protecting our Environment for Future Generations,” the plan unveiled after the Progressive Conservatives scrapped the Wynne Liberal government’s cap-and-trade program.
“The government has acknowledged that the climate crisis is real, human-caused, and must be addressed,” said Environmental Defence in its report. “Ontario’s failure to act is a broken promise.”
The Environmental Defence report says the government is already “not on track” to achieve its own emission reduction targets, in part because of decisions that have slowed the pace of electric vehicle sales and delayed a push for more renewable content in fuel.
Electric vehicle sales in Ontario during the first quarter of 2019 were down 55 per cent from the same time period the previous year, after the government scrapped all rebates for purchasing electric cars.
I’ve never been quite certain what, beyond looking like cheap asses that don’t want to spend money, they were trying to accomplish by making that decision. Who does it help? Obviously it isn’t helping the automakers, because their sales in Ontario are cratering. And it therefore follows that it can’t be helping consumers, because if those rebates weren’t making a real difference in affordability people would still be buying electric cars. It’s just one more piece of the fire, ready, aim strategy that they’ve been spending the last few months trying to undo now that their poll numbers have done their best impression of electric vehicle sales.
But that’s not to say that every environmental idea the government has is bad. I actually quite like the idea of making companies responsible for the waste they generate and standardizing what can and cannot go into recycling. If you ever visit friends or family in cities that aren’t your own, that second part should have you jumping for joy. It’ll all come down to implementation of course and there’s still plenty of time for them to mess it up, but for now this is a rare bit of Doug Ford policy I can get behind.