Media Release: CELA reacts to Ontario provincial budget, 2015

Media Release

Toronto – The Canadian Environmental Law Association welcomed confirmation of the recently announced Ontario Electricity Support Program in today’s provincial budget. This program will provide much need relief to low-income families suffering from “energy poverty” where too much of their family income is eaten up by energy costs.

Other highlights included confirmation of the province’s choice to join Quebec and California in a Cap and Trade system to put a price on carbon and fight climate change. The design of this program will be crucial, to ensure it meets the objectives of fighting climate change and to alleviate impacts to vulnerable communities. CELA will be engaged with the province in this initiative in coming months.

Major progress in funding transit infrastructure is contained in today’s budget, for much needed transit both within the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area and Ontario-wide. Especially notable is the dedication of new provincial share of gas tax revenues and revenue from asset optimization to this greatly needed infrastructure.

Of interest is the province’s plan to undertake consultations on a new design of an infrastructure framework for the “next generation” of Ontario infrastructure programs, that would optimize environmental as well as social and economic benefits.

In terms of program spending, the Ministries of Environment, Natural Resources, Aboriginal Affairs, Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and Municipal Affairs and Housing all hold their own or increase, despite a government-wide “program review.”

The province’s increased support to the Ontario Legal Aid program is of course especially welcome by CELA as it increases the numbers of Ontarians who will quality for legal services from the province’s community legal clinics, including specialty clinics.

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For more information, please contact:
Theresa McClenaghan Executive Director and Counsel 416-960-2284 ext. 219