Federal Carbon Tax: Ontario's Health Care Sector in Focus

The highly contentious federal carbon tax that came into effect on April 1, 2019, will cause a dramatic increase in heating for Ontario's health care sector. Across Ontario, it is expected that the federal carbon tax will increase heating costs for hospitals by approximately $27.2 million within the next three (3) years. Natural gas heating budgets for the following health care centres in Ontario provide a clearer picture of the dramatic increase natural gas heating costs as well as the new energy management challenges facing Ontario's health care sector: 
  • South Bruce Grey Health Centre, Walkerton location: $110,800;
  • South Bruce Grey Health Centre, Durham location: $18,914; 
  • Listowel Wingham Hospital Alliance, Wingham and District Hospital locations: $91,592;
  • Listowel Memorial Hospital: $94,832.
The federal carbon tax is expected to increase the price of natural gas in Ontario by 3.9% per cubic metre. This increase will rise steadily up to ¢5.9 in 2020, ¢7.8 in 2021, and ¢9.8 per cubic metre by April 2022. 

Owing to the increase in the cost of natural gas, Christine Elliott (Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care) and Rod Phillips (Minister of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks) affirm that approximately $27.2 million will need to be diverted from 104,651 MRI operating hours providing scans for an additional 157,000 patients.  These funds could also be used towards an estimated 3,300 pacemaker implantations.