MEDIA RELEASE: City of Toronto signs open letter to feds urging effective national carbon fee  

City of Toronto signs open letter to feds urging effective national carbon fee

 (Toronto, Ontario) – On October 2, Toronto’s City Council voted in support of Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) Canada’s open letter, which calls on the federal government to improve its proposed national carbon price. The open letter was endorsed by Toronto’s Parks and Environment Committee on September 8, 2017 and brought before Council for vote.

The letter calls on the federal carbon fee, which begins in 2018, to rise annually to 2030. The proposed rising fee, which will begin at $10 per carbon tonne and rise by $10 every year, is scheduled to end in 2022.

The letter states: “Not knowing if the fee will continue to rise beyond 2022 makes planning difficult for Canadian businesses that need to take a longer view.  Also a five year commitment is not enough to meet Canada’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.”

The letter also urges the federal government to ensure that the rising fee is fair across provincial and international borders. It calls for a comprehensive fee applied as upstream as possible – at the wellhead and point of entry for import – in all provinces, and to apply the fee to international industrial competitors through a border carbon adjustment.

“We are thrilled that the City of Toronto endorses CCL’s open letter, and thank the members of the Toronto Parks and Environment Committee for endorsing it,” says Cathy Orlando, CCL Canada’s National Manager. “CCL Canada believes that any climate action plan must recognize the needs of Canadian businesses, organizations and municipalities. Creating a level playing field, and clear indications of where federal government policy is headed is essential for them as they chart their own carbon reduction strategies.”

“If adopted by the federal government, our proposals will complement the City of Toronto’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions and transition to a clean energy economy as outlined in TransformTO, which the City passed in July this year,” says Cheryl McNamara who founded the CCL Toronto chapter and spearheaded Toronto’s support for the open letter. “All of us at CCL are grateful for the support of Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon, Chair of Parks of Environment Committee, to Councillor Sarah Doucette for including the open letter in the Committee’s September 8 meeting, and to all Committee members and Councillors for approving it.”

Close to 200 companies across Canada have signed the open letter to date, including Bullfrog Power, Desjardins Caisse Populaire, Mountain Equipment Coop, the Toronto Environmental Alliance, and several renewable energy associations, including Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA), as well as local businesses that range from golf clubs to auto shops.

Hundreds of CCL  volunteers will present the open letter to their Members of Parliament during the CCL Canada 2017 National Conference and Lobby Days in Ottawa, October 21 – 24 and in their home ridings.

About Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada

CCL Canada is a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots advocacy organization with a twin focus: to create the political will for a livable planet and to empower people to claim their political and personal power.

CCL’s approach to creating political will for carbon pricing is based on a proven model developed by the poverty-reduction and citizen empowerment organization RESULTS. Unique in the climate arena, CCL’s roots can also be traced to the principles of nonviolence and compassion that guided the social revolutions led by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr..

Cheryl McNamara, Founder, Toronto Chapter, Citizens’ Climate Lobby