Clamouring for climate dollars
The feds are making close to half a billion dollars available for climate change projects in Ontario, and hopefully we will see at least a little bit of that money come into Haliburton County.
Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announced last week that the federal government would make $420 million in funding for Ontario available from the $1.4 billion, national Low-Carbon Leadership Fund to support some of the programs that were scrapped by the Ford government. Funding will be available to municipalities, businesses, universities and hospitals, but non-profit groups and community organizations who are sustainably minded will also be able to apply directly for funding.
The funding announcement was a clear swipe at Ford by Trudeau, as the two continue to thrust and parry over the issue of carbon taxation. Following the Ford government’s cancellation of Ontario’s cap-and-trade system, Trudeau announced he would enforce a de facto federal carbon tax upon the province. He made that announcement from Etobicoke, Ford’s hometown. Subtle.
Ford fired back, saying his government would fight against the federal imposition of a carbon tax in court, and his chorus has been joined by other premiers across the country.
It’s becoming clear that at least part of the battle for next year’s federal election will be fought over the carbon taxation issue. Last week, Maclean’s released a cover reading “The Resistance,” which featured an image of Ford, federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister, and Alberta United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney; all opposed to Trudeau’s carbon tax plan.
An aside, the cover was widely panned as it became the butt of jokes on social media, a number of critics contending that a bunch of white, conservative men in blue suits might be more aptly described as “The Establishment” than “The Resistance.”
The point is, that while the giants fight, or perhaps as a result of that skirmish, money is falling from the sky. There is $420 million for climate change projects in Ontario up for grabs. Locally, the Dysart bioheat initiative comes to mind, a project that was scrapped by the Ford government despite contracts having been signed and funding that had started to flow. Perhaps there is some future for that project yet.
But there could also be a chance for community groups or local businesses with an eye to the environment to find themselves funding. It’s an opportunity worth looking into.