Wallets to feel much lighter

If your wallet feels a little bit lighter in the New Year, it’s not a figment of your imagination.
Your wallet will have been picked by the Liberal government of Premier Kathleen Wynne. In her haste to make Ontario “green,” the only greening that’s taking place is all the extra revenue the government is grabbing from its citizens as Ontario’s new cap-and-trade energy policy came into effect Jan. 1.
Just as John Crosbie, the finance minister in former Prime Minister Joe Clark’s short-lived government back in 1979, promised short-term pain for long-term gain, Ms. Wynne is promising great rewards for Ontarians in the future.
That 4.3 cents a litre spike in gasoline and diesel fuel you saw on New Year’s Day is only the first of many minor increases that will occur over the next couple of years. That will have the average car owner spending an extra $156 just to operate their vehicle.
And if you are heating your home with natural gas or oil, you also will be seeing a significant increase in the costs to keep you warm in winter.
Both Union Gas and Enbridge speculate the average home owner will pay an extra $70-$80 annually to heat their home in 2017, in addition to costs by the demand worldwide for natural gas.
The government, meanwhile, won’t allow homeowners to see a direct line item for the cap-and-trade costs. Instead, they have mandated that those costs be included in the delivery costs.
The provincial government just doesn’t want homeowners to realize their increased heating costs came from it.
Now this windfall of riches is expected to add $1.9 billion to Ontario’s coffers annually, and that will grow down the road as the government cap-and-trade values increase.
Even some electrical producers using natural gas and wood pellets and wood hog fuel will be billed for the greenhouse gases they emit in the same manner of home owners and manufacturers.
All of this is to fight climate change. As Premier Wynne states, “Money raised by the cap-and-trade scheme will go into growing the economy and fighting emissions, such as funding more public transit projects.”
It would be nice to have a public transit operation between Rainy River District and major centres such as Thunder Bay and Winnipeg.
As for growing the economy, we already have experienced the success with building a “green” electrical energy system using solar and wind. Ontario electrical bills have skyrocketed.
Just as Ontario produces too much electrical energy, and sells produced energy to companies in the States at reduced costs to compete against Ontario manufacturers, we will see many of the dollars that were raised in Ontario through cap-and-trade flow to states like California, who have manufacturers with “greener” energy uses.
Business and industries that lower their carbon emissions below provincially-mandated levels through changes and modernization will be able to ask for money from that collected by the province.
Eventually, the Wynne government would like us to convert all of our cars, trucks, homes, and businesses to electricity in a province that already has the highest electrical rates in North America.

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