Skip to Content
View site list


Pre-Bid Projects

Pre-Bid Projects

Click here to see Canada’s most comprehensive listing of projects in conceptual and planning stages


End of cap and trade program halts Hamilton energy projects

Dena Fehir
End of cap and trade program halts Hamilton energy projects

Key Hamilton, Ont. projects are being scrapped and repair backlogs are increasing due to the end of the previous Ontario Liberal government’s cap and trade program.

Most notably, approximately $17 million in provincial funding that was earmarked for energy efficiency and carbon footprint improvements to social housing in Hamilton over the next three years has been shelved.

“This loss of funding means that municipalities, including Hamilton, will continue to struggle to meet the capital repair challenges in aging social housing infrastructure — critical infrastructure that must be kept in habitable state in order to provide much needed housing for low income and vulnerable households,” said Adam Sweedland, City of Hamilton social housing manager.

The funds were meant to tackle a backlog of repairs that, along with maintenance, has a total cost of about $200 million over the next five to 10 years. The cash also would have helped social housing providers cut operating costs and improve comfort for tenants, said Sweedland.

Under the previous Liberal government, the market-based system put a limit on how much greenhouse gas businesses could emit and allowed companies to buy and sell carbon allowances. It was designed to help fight climate change and reward businesses that reduce their greenhouse gas pollution.

New Ontario Premier Doug Ford officially announced plans in early July to end the province’s cap and trade program. Ford’s PC Party won a majority government after campaigning on axing cap-and-trade, which they say will help fulfill their campaign promise to reduce gasoline prices by 10 cents a litre and could save the average family $260 a year.

Although most Hamilton social housing is downtown and on the mountain, Ward 4 Hamilton City Councillor Sam Merulla eagerly spoke out on the issue.

“Simply put, the decision is an added downloading pressure to the City of Hamilton that will shift the burden onto the residential taxpayer in a regressive nature,” Merulla said. “Downloading already represents nearly half of our operating budget and (the) province continues to kick cities in the groin and impact the most vulnerable in Ontario.”

The end of the cap and trade program has also stalled a pilot project that would bring electric buses to Hamilton due to $2 million in funding for it now being clawed back. The project, named Hamilton Takes Charge, was counting on the Liberal government to cover half of the $4 million project cost.

To date, there is no Plan B, but officials fear the alternative will be to force them to purchase higher-emission buses, which are a concern.

On the education front, Mohawk College’s Centre for Climate Change Management is out $1.2 million. It was to be the first of its kind at an Ontario college aimed to help accelerate the region’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

“The province has informed Mohawk that funding to the Centre for Climate Change Management will be discontinued. Some of the funding has already been invested to support the centre’s work,” said Jay Robb, Mohawk College director of communications.

“Mohawk College remains committed to working with our partners in the municipal government, along with business, industry and the community to make Hamilton and Burlington leaders in a post carbon economy.”

The opening of the centre was only announced in December. The province was to provide its share of the funding between December 2017 and March 2019.

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDS) is also counting its losses, as they are now out $2.1 million for public school renovations and energy-efficiency work.

“Improving building efficiency has been an ongoing priority for HWDSB, even before the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funding was introduced. This is the type of everyday work that we need to be doing. So the clawback of these dollars just simply stalls our greater plan to tackle these everyday items,” said Todd White, HWDSB chair and Ward 5 trustee.

“Through our elementary and secondary revitalization plans, we have a significant urgent infrastructure backlog of $215 million and funding cuts such as this one just postpones the repairs we will have to make. This will lead to higher costs when the time comes to address these specific repairs.”

As of the June 7 provincial election, only one of Hamilton’s five local ridings is held by the PC party — the newly drawn riding of Flamborough-Glanbrook.

The NDP took the other four, one of which includes party leader Andrea Horwath, who represents Hamilton Centre.

Recent Comments

comments for this post are closed

You might also like