Wynne Government Prioritizes Low-Carbon Economy in September 12, 2016 Throne Speech
On Monday, September 12, 2016 Lieutenant Governor Dowdeswell delivered the Throne Speech outlining the government's priorities for the second half of its mandate. The Throne Speech touched upon a number of new initiatives relevant to energy, climate change, First Nations, and innovation.
The government will:
introduce legislation for an 8% electricity bill rebate reflecting the provincial portion of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST);
make the rebate available to all retail and system consumers including most families, farms, and small businesses (estimated at approximately $130 per year);
expand the Rural or Remote Electricity Rate Protection (RRRP) program to eligible rural ratepayers (on-bill monthly savings of about 20 per cent, or $45 per month);
lower the threshold and expand the eligibility of the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI) encouraging large electricity users to shift consumption away from peak periods (lower electricity costs by up to 34%); and
provide on bill Greenhouse Gas Reduction Account rebates for consumers not eligible for the HST rebate or the expanded ICI.
The Throne Speech indicated that the government will:
use proceeds from the cap and trade program to invest in GHG reduction projects and incentives to help Ontario households and businesses reduce GHGs; and
implement the joint declaration between Ontario, Québec, and Mexico to fight climate change and drive progress on carbon markets.
The government indicated that it will continue to work in partnership with Indigenous Peoples to:
develop economic projects;
connect more reserves to the electricity grid;
provide access to clean drinking water;
create culturally appropriate education systems and public services; and
move forward on initiatives to provide greater access to the Ring of Fire and remote First Nation communities.
The government indicated that it will:
continue building a competitive business environment, driven increasingly by innovative, low-carbon industries that support economic growth and job creation;
continue delivering support programs for entrepreneurship and skills training; and
prioritize helping young people transform good ideas into promising start-ups through campus-linked accelerators and incubators.