Critics of the provincial climate change action plan are speaking out about the disproportionate burden it leaves on northern Ontario. The New Democrat Energy Critic, Peter Tabuns, says the plan will cost northern Ontario more of their income than other Ontarians. But, he says when you look at the percentage of total spending, there is very little support for those residents. Out of the $8.3 billion the province wants to spend, only between $1 and $4 million will be available to Northerners, to replace their wood stoves. Tabuns says that is the only explicit commitment to the north in the action plan, which was released yesterday.
Tabuns says this plan offers very little support for northern communities, who don’t have the same options as those living in southern Ontario. The NDP proposed the government dedicate at least 25 per cent of cap-and-trade funds to programs that directly benefit low income, rural and northern communities. But, he says that pitch was shot down by the Wynne Liberals.
However, the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Glen Murray says there are still some options available. He says there are savings of up to $1,300 per home through the different programs that are available. He says they recognize Northerners don’t have the same choices as the south, and because of that, the government is putting disproportionately more money into those programs.