Green Plan will Create Jobs, Reduce Pollution

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Toronto, Ontario – Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner announced his party’s plan to create jobs while reducing pollution.  The Greens will lower business and income taxes while balancing the budget with a price on carbon based on the popular and successful BC model.

“We can lower income and business taxes for Ontarians, by putting a small price on carbon to reduce pollution and waste, while increasing efficiency,” said Schreiner. “The other parties have polluted the discussion on this issue with rhetoric and misinformation.”

A recent poll in British Columbia taken since the implementation of their carbon tax showed that 69% support applying the carbon tax to all sources of greenhouse gas pollution. This is the same province that voted out the HST recently.  BC enjoys lower income taxes and a strong economy.

“A simple, straight forward price on carbon, modelled after the popular British Columbia system, is the most efficient and cost effective approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” added Schreiner. “Putting a small price on carbon provides the market incentives to spur innovation and entrepreneurialism to prepare our businesses to compete in a world with carbon pricing.”

Carbon pricing is widely regarded as the only way forward to reduce emissions and promote innovation in green technologies.  A simple price on carbon is easy to administer and can be implemented now, unlike cap and trade schemes that are complex, easily abused and require trading partners that simply do not exist today.

The consensus supporting a carbon tax is growing. The following individuals and organizations are only a few of the many that have spoken out in favour of carbon pricing: Canadian Council of Chief Executives, The Economist, and Dan Reicher, Director of Energy Initiatives, Google.org.

The Green Party’s job plan lowers payroll taxes to make it easier for businesses to create jobs, reduces greenhouse gases, increases investments in innovative technologies and funds income tax reductions to put money back in the pockets of Ontarians. This responsible approach achieves a balanced budget, while creating incentives for businesses to create jobs and strengthen our local economies.

 “You are going to hear the other parties say a lot about this policy but the evidence should speak for itself,” concluded Schreiner. “Ontario deserves straight talk and long term planning. That is exactly what the Green Party of Ontario providing in this election”

Your Green MPPs will:

  • Lower personal income taxes by immediately increasing the personal tax exemption by $2000.
  • Lower small business payroll taxes by raising the exemption level for the Employer Health tax from $400,000 to $800,000 in payroll; this eliminates the Employer Health Tax for small businesses with payrolls less than $800,000, making it easier for businesses to create more jobs.
  • Provide $1.6 billion dollars over four years in refundable tax credits for home owners, tenants and businesses to invest in energy efficiency and building retrofits.
  • Provide $400 million in refundable tax credits for seniors, low income residents, and individuals living in rural areas to help with rising energy prices.
  • Implement a $10 per tonne carbon tax to provide market incentives that encourage the efficient use of resources and discourage greenhouse gas emissions.

• The tax will be based on the British Columbia model and apply to the purchase or use of carbon based fossil fuels within the province.

• Every dollar raised by the carbon tax will be returned to individuals and businesses through tax reductions. No part of the carbon tax revenue will be used to fund government spending.

• The tax will be applied at the wholesale level in the same way motor fuel taxes are applied and collected; natural gas will be the only exception, being collected at the retail  level.

• The tax rate faced by individuals and both small and large businesses will be the same.

• The carbon tax will apply to all burning fossil fuel emissions, three of which in 2008 – coal, natural gas, and refined petroleum products – accounted for an estimated 75% of Ontario’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

• The tax will rise to $15/tonne over time to maintain revenue as greenhouse gas emissions decline. In real terms, this would add 2.4 cents per litre to the price of gasoline. Since the carbon tax is based on carbon content, price fluctuations in the retail price of gasoline would not affect the tax rate. Lowering the carbon content of fuel, however, would reduce the tax rate, providing an incentive for companies to use less carbon intensive fuels.

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Media Contact: 

Rebecca Harrison 
Director of Communications
Green Party of Ontario 
(c) 905-999-5479
(e) rebeccaharrison@gpo.ca