CPA Public Affairs

Ontario Government Announces 2016 Budget

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On February 25, Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa released the 2016 Ontario Budget: Jobs for Today and Tomorrow, which outlines the next phase of the government's plan to create jobs and economic growth.? 

Overall, Budget 2016-17 is a continuation of last year’s "activist centre" fiscal plan. The Liberal’s fiscal plan is built on large public investments and a plan to combat climate change through placing a price on carbon. Notably, several Government-led initiatives designed to support and stimulate private sector job creation in industries that the Liberal Administration envisions as part of a modernizing Ontario economy will receive significant funding. 

The Ontario Liberal Party continues to demonstrate its belief that reducing greenhouse gas emissions and boosting innovation and the economy are not competing priorities. As such, Budget 2016-17 sets the stage for Ontario to begin the auctioning of carbon allowances in 2017.
In November 2015, Ontario released its Climate Change Strategy and is currently developing an action plan to deliver on that strategy. A key component of that action plan is to implement a cap-and-trade program on GHG emissions with its Western Climate Initiative (WCI) partners, California and Quebec. To facilitate the implementation of a well-designed cap-and-trade program, the government is introducing legislation that, if passed, will set out upcoming emissions reduction targets for Ontario, require the publication of a climate change action plan, and impose criteria and rules for governing the cap-and-trade carbon market and for the use of proceeds that the new system generates.
Based on the emissions factors being used in the proposed Ontario model, and experiences in the Quebec program, the price of a litre of propane for consumers will increase by around 2.5 to 3 cents per litre. For a customer who uses 3,000 litres of propane in a year, their average annual costs will rise by $75 to $90. Government reports and industry data suggest that natural gas will rise by around 3.3 cents per cubic metre, while gasoline prices will increase by around 4.3 cents per litre and furnace oil will increase by about 4.5 to 5 cents per litre.
For more information on the Cap-and-Trade program, please click here. To read the full budget, please visit the Government of Ontario website.

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