Budget 2018 shows continued commitment to protecting the environment, fighting climate change and building a clean economy

Toronto, Ont. – The 2018 Ontario budget makes it clear that the Government of Ontario remains committed to fighting climate change. The budget summarizes many of the investments Ontario has already made with the $2.4 billion raised from the carbon market last year, including funding energy retrofits for social housing, investing in cycling infrastructure, and installing the largest public electric vehicle fast-charging network in Canada.

Budget 2018 also outlines priorities for investing the $2 billion Ontario anticipates raising from the carbon market in 2018-19, all of which, by law, must be reinvested into fighting climate change. Nearly half of these funds are earmarked to improve energy efficiency in homes and businesses. These resources are absolutely crucial to help businesses and individuals do their part to reduce their climate impacts and participate in the global transition to a low-carbon economy.

The new investment of $52 million over three years into protecting the Great Lakes is especially welcome. The Great Lakes contain 21 per cent of the world’s available surface freshwater, and face increasing threats from climate change, plastic pollution, invasive species and the return of algae to Lake Erie. Ontario has committed to fighting algae and protecting Lake Erie, including the recently released Canada-Ontario Lake Erie Action Plan. It’s good to see some resources being put behind that commitment.

This budget also commits considerable funding toward public transit. In fact, the budget allocates more than three times more resources, $79 billion, to public transit than is allocated to highways ($25 billion). This is good news as it’s essential for the province to align its budget and infrastructure spending with the commitments to fight climate change and protect the environment.

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Allen Braude, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 247; (416) 356-2587 (cell); abraude@environmentaldefence.ca