After two leaked drafts and a taxpayer funded ad promoting it, the public now finally has details on Kathleen Wynne's new climate change plan.
The money that the government's cap and tax scheme squeezes out of Ontario manufacturing, out of consumers at the pumps, and out of your home heating bill, is being funneled into Wynne's $8.3-billion green spending plan.
That money will be spent on top-down controls on our lives that will make the cost of living in Ontario even higher.
For example, the government is going to require that all new homes and all new commercial office buildings be built with electric vehicle charging stations. This will drive up the cost of housing, something that is already increasingly out of reach for many Ontario families.
The government is also going to be changing the Building Code to require that all small buildings become carbon neutral. It's not quite clear what this means, and indeed, could mean the de facto phase out of natural gas which 76 per cent of homes in the province rely on for heat. The government is also establishing a renewable content requirement for natural gas - which will inevitably push the price of natural gas up.
The government removed any explicit mention of their plans to phase out natural gas, which was included in their original leaked plan. But just because they are now denying a ban is their ultimate objective doesn't mean they won't do it. After all, Premier Wynne stated when she won a majority government that she had no plans for a carbon tax, yet here we are with cap and tax.
There is speculation that the leak may have been an intentional communications strategy by the government to make the real plan appear less radical in comparison. Because the real plan is radical indeed, and certain planks defy logic.
For example, certain policies advantage only the very wealthy at the expense of the middle class. Wynne is doubling down on the troubled subsidy program for electric super cars. This is the same program that the Canadian Taxpayers Federation found was providing taxpayer subsidies for the $1.1 Porsche Sypder, and had given $14 million in subsidies for cars that retail at over $70,000.
Wynne's plan commits an additional $160 million in subsidies for cars under $150,000 - an obviously outrageously high cut off point. The government is also committing $15 million for free overnight electric vehicle charging. So the people with $150,000 cars are getting subsidies and free fuel from the rest of average Ontarians who earn less than that in a year and are seeing their gas taxes going up under this scheme and the price of electricity they use in their homes skyrocket.
The Premier also set a goal that 5 per cent of all vehicles sold by 2020 will be electric vehicles. Currently less than 1 per cent of all vehicles sold in the province are electric. This is unsurprising given that auto manufacturing has historically been the backbone of the Ontario economy, and there is no final assembly manufacturing of electric vehicles are manufactured. The Premier has essentially committed to knee-capping the Ontario auto sector. On top of outrageously high electricity prices and a new cap and trade carbon tax, it's a miracle there is any manufacturing left in the province at all.
But one of the largest problems with the plan is that it commits $8.3 billion in new spending when the province is running its ninth consecutive deficit. Wynne is under the delusion that the carbon credit auctions will generate $1.9 billion annually. However, the last quarterly auction for the Western Climate Initiative resulted in only $10 million in revenue. With that trend, Wynne will be left with a $1.5 billion revenue hole.
Someone is going to have to pay for all the promises in Kathleen's kooky climate change plan when she's faced with the shortfall, and you can bet your next hydro bill that it's going to be you.
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