Home > At Issue

The Liberal ‘Cap and Trade’ program in Ontario – How it works & how it affects you

The cap and trade program is a central part of Ontario’s solution to fight climate change. It is a market-based system that sets a hard cap on greenhouse gas emissions while giving flexibility to businesses and industry in terms of how they meet their caps.

Putting a price on carbon encourages companies and consumers to make better choices for the environment. It gives polluters an incentive to cut emissions – if you pollute less, you pay less.


The cap limits how many tonnes of greenhouse gas pollution businesses and institutions can emit. The cap drops each year to encourage lower emissions.

Companies must have enough allowances (also known as permits or credits) to cover their emissions if they exceed the cap.

To comply, companies can generally:

  • invest in clean technologies to become more efficient
  • switch to lower carbon fuels
  • purchase additional credits


Companies can trade (buy or sell) allowances. For example, if a company emits more greenhouse gas emissions than permitted by the cap, it could buy credits in order to comply. Credits would be available for purchase from a company that reduced its greenhouse gas emissions and have surplus credits.

Key facts:

  • began January 1, 2017
  • caps the amount of greenhouse gas emissions Ontario’s homes and businesses can emit, and lowers that limit over time
  • will cost the average Ontario household about $13 more per month to fuel a car and heat a home in 2017
  • proceeds from cap and trade will be invested into projects to help families lower their energy costs and save money
  • first auction was March 22, 2017

Greenhouse gases cause climate change and cost consumers

Greenhouse gases cause global warming. In July 2016, global temperatures were the warmest on record. To fight climate change, we must lower our greenhouse gas emissions.

Greenhouse gases are the pollutants, like carbon dioxide, that come from burning fossil fuels. They come from factories, cars, trucks, home furnaces and other sources.

Every year, millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases are pumped into the air with almost no cost to emitters.


The proceeds from Ontario’s cap and trade program will benefit homeowners and the economy.

Cap and trade is projected to generate about $1.9 billion per year in proceeds. Ontario will invest this into programs that save homeowners energy and money.

By law, every dollar collected through cap and trade must be invested – in a transparent way – back into projects that reduce greenhouse gas pollution, such as:

  • public transit
  • electric vehicle incentives
  • social housing retrofits

Industries can invest in new clean technologies to reduce their carbon costs. Researchers, entrepreneurs and start-ups will benefit as their new technologies are needed to meet the challenge. This will bring jobs and economic benefits in the growing global market for climate-friendly products.

Ontario has already committed $325 million to the Green Investment Fund for projects that will fight climate change, grow the economy and create jobs. These investments are part of our plan to secure a healthy, clean and prosperous low-carbon future.

How cap and trade affects you

In 2017, cap and trade will cost the average Ontario household about $13 more per month to fuel a car and heat a home.

Home electricity prices

Cap and trade will not make your electricity more expensive. The electricity we consume every day is 90% emissions-free, thanks in part to Ontario’s early action to close coal-fired power generation.



Ontario Lifts Financial Burden Off Families in Need with OHIP+

Province Helping Ontario Families Stay Healthy with Free Prescription Medication for Everyone Age 24 and Under

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Ontario is helping families afford the care they need to stay healthy by making prescription medications free for everyone age 24 and under.

Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, met with young mothers at Massey Centre in Toronto today, where he launched OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare. In just under two weeks, children and youth will be able to get their medications at no cost by simply showing their Ontario health card number and a prescription at a pharmacy. Coverage will be automatic, with no upfront costs.

Providing medication at no cost for children and youth will make a difference in the lives of Ontario families, including many vulnerable groups such as low-income families, large families, single parents with children, students, young people in the workforce, and unemployed and underemployed young people.

Starting January 1, more than 4,400 medications will be covered, such as asthma inhalers, drugs to treat depression, anxiety, epilepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, antibiotics, EpiPens (epinephrine auto-injectors), insulin, diabetes test strips, oral contraceptives, medications to treat some childhood cancers and other rare conditions, and many others.

Ontario is the first province to provide prescription medication coverage at no cost for children and youth age 24 years and under, which will make a real difference in the lives of people across the province.

Making it more affordable for families and young people to get the medications they need is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

Quick Facts

  • According to a recent report by the Conference Board of Canada, the number of people in Ontario who are not currently eligible for drug coverage under a public or private insurance plan will drop from 13.2 per cent to four per cent when OHIP+ becomes available on January 1st – which means an estimated 1.2 million people without coverage will benefit.
  • Ontario’s public drug programs are already one of the country’s most generous, helping to pay for needed prescription medications for seniors, people with high drug costs and other vulnerable populations.
  • OHIP+ will give young people access to more than 4,400 drug products reimbursed under the Ontario Drug Benefit program, including some of the most commonly used medications and those available through the Exceptional Access Program, if an individual qualifies, at no cost.

Additional Resources


Dr. Eric Hoskins

“We believe all families in Ontario deserve the same access to medication they need to protect the health and lives of their children. By making over 4,400 medications available to Ontarians 24 and under at no cost, we are helping all children and youth, regardless of income, get the care they need.”

Dr. Eric Hoskins

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

Michael Coteau

“No families in Ontario should have to choose between paying for rent or affording their child’s medication. By covering the cost of more than 4,400 prescriptions, Ontario is allowing families to focus on what matters most — letting kids be kids, and helping young people reach their full potential.”

Michael Coteau

Minister of Children and Youth Services


Ontario Bans the Expiration of Reward Points

Province Taking Another Step To Protect Consumers

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

Ontario is protecting consumers from losing reward points based only on the amount of time passed since they were earned. Beginning on January 1, 2018, consumers will be protected against losing reward points that they have been saving up for larger purchases, and the change will be retroactive to October 1, 2016.

Consumers who believe their points improperly expired will be able to request that businesses reimburse them, or may file a complaint with Consumer Protection Ontario.

Banning the expiration of reward points is one of a number of changes the province has proposed to increase protection for consumers, including:

  • Adding new protections for new home warranties and condo owners
  • Strengthening rules and professional standards in the real estate sector
  • Increasing transparency in travel services pricing
  • Preventing event ticket fraud and excessive markups in ticket re-sales.

Protecting consumers is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

Quick Facts

  • The province examined the terms of over 50 different programs when drafting the regulations.
  • If a reward points program issues vouchers, they will be considered as gift cards, and will not be allowed to expire.
  • If a member does not earn or redeem reward points over a long period of time, some rewards programs close accounts due to prolonged inactivity. This will continue to be permitted if it is stated explicitly in the membership agreement.
  • Reward programs dealing only with low-value items of $50 or less will be exempt.

Additional Resources


Tracy MacCharles

“These are important new ground rules that preserve the points consumers have built up over time. Many people save their points for years to use toward a large purchase. That has real value and should be protected.”

Tracy MacCharles

Minister of Government and Consumer Services



Minimum wage more than just an increase in money

 A look at changes and improvements to employees above and beyond the hourly rate.

By Dan Matten – contestant for Provincial Liberal Candidate

On May 30, 2017 the Ontario Government announced the introduction of the proposed ‘Fair Workplace, Better Jobs Act, 2017’.

The reason for doing this is the fact that the nature of work has changed even so the Ontario economy is strong and growing. This leaves many workers struggling to support their families on minimum wage work, contract work or part-time work.

Besides the increase of the minimum wage form the current $ 11.40/hr that will raise on Jan 2018 to $ 14.00 there are several key elements that are designed to protect the workers and create equality.

If the proposed legislation passes the following issues will be addressed:


Equal Pay for Equal Work:

Temporary Help Agency (THA) employees are paid equally to permanent employees when performing the same job. This will help to prevent that employers use THA’s to reduce their cost by underpaying workers for the exact same work permanent employees do or did perform. This proposal wold come into effect April 2018.

Termination of assignment:

Temporary Help Agencies will have to provide and assignment employee with at lease one week’s notice when an assignment scheduled to last longer then three month will be terminated early.

If less than one weeks notice is given the employee must be paid for the difference unless the employee is offered at least one week of reasonable work during the notice time.

This proposal would come into force January 1, 2018.


in this section there are several proposals.

  • Employees would have the right to request schedule or location changes after having been employed for three months, without fear of reprisal.
  • Employees who regularly work more than three hours per day, but upon reporting to work are given less than three hours, must be paid three hours at their regular rate of pay.
  • Employees can refuse to accept shifts without repercussion if their employer asks them to work with less than four days’ notice.
  • If a shift is cancelled within 48 hours of its start, employees must be paid three hours at their regular rate of pay.
  • When employees are “on-call” and not called in to work, they must be paid three hours at their regular rate of pay. This would be required for each 24 hour period that employees are on-call.
  • If a collective agreement is made between an employer and a union, the agreement would prevail in place of some of these new rules.

more to come….