Before even taking office, Doug Ford has shown what kind of leader he will be: an unraveller.
Less than a year after it was announced, the Green Ontario Fund has been terminated in Ford’s first week since being elected.
The fund, which gave grants to homeowners looking to make “green” home improvements, was silently axed by the premier-elect on June 19.
The program helped home and business owners do their part to reduce their carbon footprint so Ontario can meet its emission targets.
In a 2015 survey, 92 per cent of Canadians believed there was at least some evidence of warming temperatures. Even the PCs have agreed that climate change is happening. Yet, programs designed to help the everyday person – and not intended to help big industrial wind farms and solar farms – were axed.
By cutting the program, Ford is on his way to fully unravelling the cap and trade program.
Canada has taken a stand with 195 other countries to reduce emissions; Ontario took steps to get there too. But one week with Ford at the helm and climate change programs go to the wayside.
Look, we all need to do our part to reduce our impact on the environment, but we also need strong leadership to guide the way.
We need incentives; taking those away is a mistake.
Not a surprise
Doug Ford has silently axed the $377-million Green Ontario Fund, which was meant to help homeowners with home upgrades to help fight climate change.
This isn’t really a surprise – Ford did say he was going to make cuts. While the Green Ontario Fund likely had a positive impact on some Ontarians, I for one didn’t know it existed.
Why you ask? It was implemented last summer. It hasn’t yet grown to become a dependable source of funding. Maybe with time it could have reached more Ontarians and could have been a force for climate change to recon with.
But it didn’t. It was too new.
Ford made an interesting move. Cut the new program that Ontarians aren’t yet depending on, cut it early and start the savings he promised taxpayers.
In the long run it may even help. People who are aware of their high energy-use appliances are probably more likely to use them efficiently and with less frequency than those who have “smart” everything.
While eco-friendly items, like thermostats may look good on paper for the uninformed user, it’s almost a license to use those appliances with more frequency because they’re “smart” and combating climate change for you.
While the Green Ontario Fund may not be missed too much, the bigger question is, what’s next?