For Immediate Release
Apr 1, 2019
2018 election was no substitute for following the law, say Ecojustice and Greenpeace Canada
TORONTO, April 1, 2019 — Premier Doug Ford’s decision to scrap the province’s cap-and-trade program without public consultation has landed his government in court today, defending a suit brought by Ecojustice lawyers on behalf of Greenpeace Canada.
The organizations filed the lawsuit to defend the public’s right to be consulted on policies that have a major impact on the environment, and seeks to have the Court prohibit the government using elections to skirt legally-required consultation.
Professor Amir Attaran, lawyer for the Ecojustice-uOttawa Environmental Law Clinic, said:
“Literally the first decision of the Ford government was to kill cap-and-trade. To do it without the necessary consultation was illegal. We launched this case to uphold Ontarians’ legal right to be consulted on major changes to regulations that affect the environment. We expect the court to affirm that the Ford government cannot refuse that obligation, even if they were basking in election euphoria. Ontarians voted for a law-abiding government, and Premier Ford must follow the law.”
Keith Stewart, Senior Energy Strategist with Greenpeace Canada, said:
“The destructive impacts of climate change-fueled storms, floods and wildfires are all around us, yet Doug Ford would have us stick our heads in the sand and pretend it’s someone else’s problem to solve. We are taking the Ford government to court to prove that their dismantling of Ontario’s climate protection plan was not only reckless, it was unlawful.”
By coincidence, April 1, 2019 is also the date during which the Federal “backstop” carbon price comes into force. Had Premier Ford not scrapped the province’s cap and trade program, Ontarians would not be subject to the federal carbon price, and would have been able to use the money raised by cap and trade for further carbon reduction incentives.
The Environmental Commission of Ontario was also eliminated on April 1.
About cap and trade
The University of Ottawa and Ecojustice, Canada’s largest environmental law charity, are partners in the uOttawa-Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic, a problem-based educational learning course designed to help train the next generation of environmental law and policy leaders.
Catharine Tunnacliffe, Communications Manager |Ecojustice
416 368 7533 x: 542
Keith Stewart, Greenpeace Canada