Energy News: Weekly Round-up for April 29 to May 3

Ontario Energy News: Weekly Round-Up (Apr. 29 to May 3)

  • May 1 Energy News: one month after the federal carbon tax came into effect, the federal government's rebate on electric car purchases (the Canadian Government's Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles Program) came into effect.  The incentives being offered for people to switch over from gas-powered to electric vehicles is part of the federal government's ambitious efforts to have all gas-powered cars off the road by 2040.  The rebate in question offers a $5,000 rebate on the purchase of an electric vehicle, and a $2,500 rebate on hybrid plug-in vehicles.  While these rebates only apply to vehicles under $45K, some electric vehicles in the range of $55K will also be eligible.  Electric vehicles that qualify currently include: • Chevrolet Bolt; • Ford Focus Electric; • Hyundai Loniq Electric; • Hyundai Kona Electric; • Kia Niro Electric; • Kia Soul Electric; • Nissan Leaf; • Tesla Model 3 Standard Range; • Volkswagon e-Golf. Qualifying hybrid vehicle plug-ins currently include: • Audi A3 e-Tron; • Chevrolet Volet; • Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid; • Ford Fusion Energi; • Honda Clarity PHEV; • Hyundai loniq PHEV; • Hyundai Sonata PHEV; • Kia Niro PHEV; • Mini Cooper S E Countryman; • Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV; • Toyota Prius Prime. 
  • May 2 Energy News: Tesla announced that it created a "cheaper" version of its popular Model 3 electric vehicle so as to allow it to qualify for the federal government of Canada's tax rebate worth $5,000.  The price of Tesla's standard range Model 3 electric car was lowered to $44,999, just under the $45,000 threshold set by the Canadian government to qualify for an electric vehicle purchase rebate.  Because Tesla lowered its price on the standard Model 3 electric vehicle, Tesla's higher-end electric vehicle, which is worth approximately $53,700, will also qualify for the federal government's electric car purchase rebate.  Tesla has posted on its website the full details of electric vehicle incentives being offered by the Canadian government.
  • May 3 Energy News: Ontario's Green Party released its "counter-stickers", which are intended to counter Doug Ford's "carbon tax cost gas pump stickers".  The stickers aim to educate Canadians as to the true cost of climate change, a cost which the Green Party estimates will reach $91 billion annually by 2050. Despite bringing a $30 million constitutional challenge to Justin Trudeau's federal carbon tax, Doug Ford has implicitly affirmed, acknowledged, and recognized the the federal carbon tax as being valid by introducing the Federal Carbon Tax Transparency Act, a piece of legislation that would compel some 3,200 gas stations across Ontario to display stickers at the gas pump that indicate that the federal carbon tax currently adds 4.4¢ per litre, and is expected to reach 11¢ by 2022. Under Doug Ford's legislation, gas station owners that don't display the stickers could be subject to fines of up to $10,000 per day.  Doug Ford's carbon stickers have rightly been criticized for being politicized in nature, and for violating the Charter right of Canadians. 
  • May 3 Energy News: Newly elected Alberta Premier Jason Kenney visited Doug Ford in Toronto, Ontario. Despite a soberingly clear decision by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal that found that the federal carbon tax is constitutional, both Premiers have claimed being part of a "national carbon tax coalition", vowing to fight Justin Trudeau's federal carbon tax and, by implication, the judicial system that affirmed the federal carbon tax as constitutional. 
  • May 3 Energy News: the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal issued a 155-page decision finding that Justin Trudeau's federal carbon tax is constitutional under s. 91 of The Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1983, that is, the federal government "residual" powers to pass new laws in the "name of peace, order and good government' in relation to any and all maters not coming within the classes of subjects assigned exclusively to the legislatures of the Provinces.  The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal's decision is binding on all provincial Appeal Courts across Canada, including the Ontario Court fo Appeal. Only the Supreme Court of Canada would have the power to overturn the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal's decision.  As Ottawa University Law Professor rightly underscored, the Constitutionality of the federal carbon tax has nothing to do with the issue as to whether a carbon tax is an effective way of fighting climate change, or whether the scientific evidence on climate change is tenable.  It only deals with whether the federal government has the authority to enact a federal carbon tax under Canada's constitution.  The federal government in Saskatchewan is the same federal government in all other Canadian provinces.  If the federal government in Saskatchewan has the authority to enact a carbon tax, then the federal government in Ontario also has the power to enact a federal carbon tax. 
  • May 3 Energy News: as part of the government of Ontario public consultations on industrial electricity pricing and programs, parliamentary assistants to the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines met with stakeholders from the mining industry in Sudbury.  The mining sector is one of many sectors that has been designated by the Ontario government as a "key industry sector" for the purpose of reassessing Ontario's industrial electricity pricing and programs.
  • May 3 Energy News: after a week of flooding in Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick -  caused by a combination of warm temperatures, melting snow and ice, and large volumes of rain - high water levels began to recede, allowing some residents to return to their home.  Hydro One and the Electrical Safety Authority for Ontario lended their assistance to ensure a safe return to home for evacuated residents. The Electrical Safety Authority has also laid out a protocol that residents must follow to ensure their electricity systems are safely restored.