The Doug Ford government’s cancellation of the GreenOn program in June, which provides a rebate to homeowners for improvements that increase their home energy efficiency, has become a hot topic at Queen’s Park.
Michael Braby, president of Kingston-area Aaben Windows and Doors Ltd., says the October 31 deadline that came with the mid-June cancellation is unrealistic.
He says he has around 100 clients that signed contracts with him, before the June program cancellation, that expect to get rebates for the windows that are being installed. But he won’t be able to do the work until after the end of October. Window manufacturers can’t meet the demand in time, and Braby says there’s a shortage of skilled workers in the province, affecting how quickly he can meet orders.
There are also potential issues with the weather as fall approaches says Braby.
“Every day that we get rained out in September and October will cause another GreenON casualty,” Braby said.
Kingston and the Islands MPP Ian Arthur raised the matter in question period at Queen’s Park, asking, “Instead of cancelling them with an October 31 deadline, will the minister work to extend it until January 31, at least until all those contracts can be done?”
Environment Minister Rod Phillips said they had consulted with the parties involved in the program and the end date wouldn’t change.
“The only responsible thing to do when we made the decision on behalf of Ontarians to cut the cap and trade carbon tax program was to end that program,” Phillips said.
Braby estimates that there are almost $180,000 dollars in rebates on the line for his customers, and says he disagrees with the minister’s claim that the rebates are coming out of taxpayers’ pockets.
“It’s not income tax,” Braby said. “It’s not coming from everybody, it’s a pool of money to the tune of some $2 billion that’s already there.”
Braby says that money should be earmarked for what it was originally intended for.
He’s also encouraging his customers and anyone else affected by the GreenOn cancellation to write their MPP.