Ontario companies can apply for $100 million in aid to buy new technology to help cut energy use and greenhouse gas emissions as the province prepares to unveil what Premier Kathleen Wynne mistakenly called a “crap and trade” program.
“If you print that you’re gonna be in trouble,” she joked after her slip of the tongue at a west-end solar panel plant, explaining the aid will be funded from the cap-and-trade emissions pricing program expected to raise $300 million in its first auction early in 2017.
The effort is needed to meet targets for reducing Ontario’s greenhouse gas emissions to minimize the effects of climate change.
“We need to actively nurture businesses” to reach those goals, Wynne said at the Morgan Solar plant just north of the old stockyards at St. Clair and Keele.
The $100 million is mostly aimed at large greenhouse gas emitters like auto and steel plants, with $24 million set aside for small and medium-sized companies.
Details are still being worked out, but manufacturers will have to apply for the money and match any government contributions as they take advantage of clean technology, such as solar panels, to reduce energy costs and emissions.
More details on the government’s climate change program are expected in next Thursday’s budget from Finance Minister Charles Sousa.
Last week, the government announced a $20 million annual program of increased subsidies for motorists to buy electric vehicles.
Drivers can now get up to $14,000 off the sticker price, depending on the number of passengers the vehicle carries and its battery size.