The Ontario climate plan: Should provinces follow or flee?

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Canadian governments have produced a lot of climate-change action plans over the past two decades. Most have been filled with fluffy language crafted to ruffle no feathers, and have promised a light touch to secure buy-in from all parties. Many have also never left the drawing board, playing a role only by locking up carbon in their infrequently consulted pages.

This, perhaps, explains the storm of controversy that has greeted the release of leaked details of Ontario’s forthcoming climate plan. From what we know, the plan promises to transform Ontario’s energy sector, in part by slowly phasing out natural gas as a home- and building-heating fuel, and in part by gradually replacing gasoline with electricity in the province’s vehicle fleet. These aggressive measures go well beyond what we’ve come to expect from Canadian governments, save perhaps Quebec.

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