From the Observer/Op-Ed by Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change

There has been a slew of misinformation shared by Progress Conservative Party in recent days about the future of natural gas in Ontario as the province takes the next step in our fight against climate change.

It’s time to set the record straight.

To be very clear, the Government of Ontario is not banning natural gas or forcing anyone off of it. In fact, natural gas will continue to play a critical role in the energy mix in Ontario.

We understand the critical role natural gas plays for people in this province in their everyday lives, from heating their homes to helping run their small business. And it is why we have made significant investments in natural gas to make it more accessible and cost-effective across Ontario.

We are helping expand natural gas into northern and rural communities with a $230-million investment, allowing communities that previously lacked the necessary infrastructure the opportunity to switch to a cheaper, cleaner fuel source will help residential and industrial consumers lower their energy bills.

Last February, we announced a new $100-million partnership with Enbridge and Union Gas to help about 37,000 homeowners conduct energy-saving audits and then complete home energy retrofits. This partnership is expected to save an equivalent of 1.6 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

Proceeds from cap and trade will be reinvested in these types of programs that improve energy efficiency and reduce our carbon footprint.

We know that together, Ontario has to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas we emit. This shift to a low-carbon, high-productivity economy involves both investments in natural gas conservation and in affordable clean energy solutions. We will continue to look at opportunities to help homeowners, businesses and farmers save money, while reducing their consumption of energy.

Moving forward, we will soon be making an announcement on all the initiatives and detailed investments in our Climate Change Action Plan. We will be presenting a viable plan that will ensure we meet our near- and long-term emissions reduction targets and at the same time, create good jobs and make our homes, communities and workplaces greener and more efficient.

Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change

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