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Ontario Stands up for Families and Businesses by Opposing Job-Killing Federal Carbon Tax on Colleges and Universities

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Ontario Stands up for Families and Businesses by Opposing Job-Killing Federal Carbon Tax on Colleges and Universities

Costs to Students Increasing with Federal Tax Coming into Effect April 1

Ontario's government is working for the people by fighting increased costs to public institutions caused by the imposition of a job-killing federal carbon tax. The financial burden to universities and colleges risks impacting the services that the people of Ontario have come to rely upon.

The federal government's carbon tax will impact Ontario's colleges and universities by increasing their upfront annual heating costs by approximately $9.8 million in 2019, soaring to $24.7 million in 2022.

"We know that the federal carbon tax will increase the cost to heat your home, fuel your car and feed your family," said Minister Phillips. "What we don't know is the cost that the carbon tax will have on the institutions that provide essential services to the people of Ontario including hospitals, seniors' centres and colleges."

Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, and Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, were at Algonquin College in Ottawa today to talk about how the federal government's carbon tax will impact local colleges and universities by increasing heating costs.

Upfront costs for Algonquin College are expected to increase by approximately $151,000 in 2019-20, rising to over $380,000 in 2022-23, based on 2016 fuel consumption levels. This amount of money could be better used to train the next generation of students in 3D video game animation techniques, support nursing students to gain classroom laboratory and clinical learning experience or prepare students for employment in the skilled trades.

"Ontario's postsecondary institutions will face increased costs resulting from the federal carbon fuel tax," said Minister Fullerton. "This tax could result in our institutions redirecting public funding and tuition money towards a federal tax rather than where it is intended to go - on learning and student-focused initiatives."

The Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan considers our province's specific priorities, challenges and opportunities, and commits to reducing our emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, a target that aligns with the Federal Government's Paris commitments, without imposing a carbon tax on students, patients, families and seniors. Through the efforts of individuals and industry, Ontario is already most of the way to this target, with the province's emissions down 22 per cent since 2005.

Ontario's emission performance standards proposal would allow colleges and universities to opt-in, saving them from the costs of the federal carbon tax program.

"Our plan serves as proof that you can both oppose a carbon tax and continue to do more to fight climate change, you don't have to choose," concluded Minister Phillips. "Ontario deserves a healthy environment and a healthy economy."

The government remains committed to fighting the federal government's plan to impose a carbon tax on the people of Ontario.

Quick Facts

  • Starting January 1, 2019, the federal government’s output-based pricing system came into force.
  • The federal carbon tax will cost a typical household $258/year in 2019 and will rise to $648 by 2022.
  • The federal carbon tax on fuels takes effect in April. Including the additional HST cost, it will increase the price of gasoline in Ontario by 5 cents per litre. This will rise to 7.5 cents in 2020, 10 cents in 2021, and 12.5 cents per litre in April 2022.
  • Including the additional HST cost, the federal carbon tax will increase the price of natural gas in Ontario by 4.4 cents per cubic metre. This increase will rise to 6.6 cents in 2020, 8.8 cents in 2021, and
  • Including the additional HST cost, the federal carbon tax will increase the price of diesel by 6.1 cents per litre in 2019, rising to 15.2 cents by 2022.
  • Ontario is part of a coalition of provinces pledged to fight the federal government's unconstitutional carbon tax. Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Manitoba have joined Ontario's challenge to the federal government's Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, which is an unconstitutional, disguised tax. Ontario’s case challenging the constitutionality of the federal carbon tax will be heard by the Court of Appeal from April 15 to 18, 2019.
  • As outlined in Ontario’s environment plan, the province is committed to meeting its share of Canada’s 2030 target while recognizing the unique circumstances of our economy. From 2005 to 2016, Ontario reduced its emissions by about 22 per cent.
  • The Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan commits to reducing our province’s emissions output to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 without imposing a carbon tax.
  • In a survey of business owners in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business found that 87 per cent opposed this federal carbon tax plan.

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