Bill Kelly: The cost of scrapping cap and trade

Doug Ford says his first act as Premier will be to scrap the carbon tax
Doug Ford says his first act as Ontario premier will be to scrap the province's cap-and-trade system and challenge federal rules on carbon pricing.

Premier Doug Ford made it official Tuesday with his announcement that his government is scrapping Ontario’s cap and trade program.

The debate about the environmental efficiency of cap and trade has become a hotly contested issue, with the pro and anti sides firmly entrenched in their positions, but what concerns many Ontario voters now is the financial cost of Ford’s move.

READ MORE: Ontario Premier Doug Ford to officially wind down green programs funded by cap and trade

Some of the number crunchers have estimated that Ford’s decision could cost Ontario about $420 million in federal transfer payments that were targeted for environmental programs.

Then there’s the concern about companies that purchased permits under the cap and trade program.

It’s estimated that the province, and that means you and me, could be on the hook for about $3 billion to refund those purchases.

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Whether or not we believe that cap and trade or carbon taxes or whatever, actually improves the environment is a moot point; we should be concerned that the government is running up a huge bill to nix the programs.

READ MORE: Doug Ford says his first order of business as Ontario premier is cancelling cap and trade

Some critics compare this to the outrageous price tag for the McGuinty government’s gas plant cancellation.

That may or may not be a fair comparison, but it does seem odd that a Ford government that promised a better deal for taxpayers, seems to be digging a deeper financial hole to get there.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML