TORONTO — The David Suzuki Foundation is encouraged by the release of Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan, which demonstrates the province's commitment to building a low-carbon future. The plan will be funded by the province's cap-and-trade revenue and contains a number of positive investments and solutions including:
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- Rebates on purchases of non-polluting electric vehicles (up to $14,000) and home-charging stations ($1,000).
- A proposal to eliminate sales tax on EVs (a 13 per cent saving).
- Free overnight EV charging (in houses and condos) for four years.
- All new commercial office buildings will need to have EV charging stations.
- A target of five per cent of car sales being EVs by 2020.
- Between $150 million and $225 million over five years for cycling infrastructure.
- Hundreds of millions of dollars for "Regional Express Rail", an electrified commuter service in the Greater Toronto Area.
"This plan is a huge step forward for the province and for Canadian climate action in general," said David Suzuki Foundation policy analyst Gideon Forman. "While there is still more to do, the comprehensive approach to cutting carbon emissions evident in this plan sets a strong example for other provinces."
Perhaps most exciting is the province's requirement that all new homes from 2030 onward have net-zero emissions. That means they could use natural gas for heating but would offset those emissions, perhaps with solar panels or through offsets purchasing. The province will also provide about $500 million for home retrofits to reduce natural gas heating.
"Even as Canada continues to work on a much-needed national approach to climate leadership, provinces are stepping up," said Foundation science and policy director Ian Bruce. "Reinvesting money generated from the province's new cap-and-trade system to give Ontarians financial incentives to make their homes and commutes more energy efficient effectively doubles the emissions-reducing impact of those dollars."
David Suzuki Foundation — Gideon Forman 647-703-5957
David Suzuki Foundation — Steve Kux 604-374-4102