Joint Statement from Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Québec Premier Philippe Couillard
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Québec Premier Philippe Couillard released the following statement today concerning Ontario and Québec's collaboration on cap and trade:
"Climate change is endangering the air we breathe, the water we drink and the health of our children and grandchildren. It is already costing the people of Ontario and Québec -- it has devastated communities, damaged homes, businesses and crops, and increased insurance rates.
In November of 2014, Ontario and Québec signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in which both provinces agreed to collaborate on their efforts to fight climate change and to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy. Today, we are deepening our collaboration on combatting climate change by signing a letter formalizing our intent to work toward linking our cap and trade systems, once Ontario has developed a mechanism compatible and coherent with the Québec and California carbon market.
In establishing a cap and trade system, Ontario intends to join North America's largest carbon market already being operated by Québec and California. This will help improve market stability, minimize implementation costs and provide a consistent approach to greenhouse gas emitters in both provinces. At the next joint Cabinet meeting, our governments intend to amend our MOU on climate change to reflect the fact that Ontario is working with Québec in moving forward with cap and trade.
Good climate policy leads to strong, sustainable and resilient economic development. Both provinces will thus continue to work with our business sectors in order to reduce GHG emissions while maintaining and even increasing competitiveness.
The benefits of acting now on climate change are real and apparent. It will result in cleaner air, a healthier environment and a more competitive economy. The costs of not acting are worsening air quality, more congestion, a degraded environment and rising costs to our economy.
Today's announcement builds on a strong foundation of collaboration between our provinces. Ontario and Québec have taken concrete steps to keep electricity affordable and reliable, build modern infrastructure, support our shared heritage, and create more trade between the two provinces.
Working together as Ontario designs and implements a new cap and trade system will help to ensure that both economies continue to thrive, and that people from both provinces will have cleaner air and a healthier, more prosperous future."