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Ontario Premier Doug Ford today announced members of his new Cabinet. The new Executive Council has increased by three to 30 members and includes seven women, down from nine, and seven people of colour. The new Executive Council largely resembles Premier Ford’s Cabinet prior to the recent election on June 2, with a few notable exceptions, including the now former Minister of Health, Christine Elliot, who did not seek re-election, and Lisa MacLeod, the now former Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism. The ministers responsible for environment and energy portfolios remain the same. The new Executive Council is as follows: Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and new Minister of Health Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance Paul Calandra, Minister of Long-Term Care, Minister of Legislative Affairs and Government House Leader Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Doug Downey, Attorney General Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, with an additional mandate for small business Michael Ford, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Parm Gill, the new Minister of Red Tape Reduction Michael Kerzner, the new Solicitor General Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education Neil Lumsden, the new Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation and Minister of Francophone Affairs David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks Graydon Smith, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry George Pirie, Minister of Mines, with a mandate to develop the Ring of Fire Kaleed Rasheed, the new Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development and Minister of Indigenous Affairs Prabmeet…

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (the Ministry) has posted a bulletin (the Bulletin) providing principles to guide policy development and future consultations for Ontario’s Emissions Performance Standards (EPS) program to meet the updated federal benchmark for 2023-2030 (read our earlier bulletins on the EPS here and here). The Ministry also released new modelling demonstrating how Ontario is forecasted to meet its GHG  emission reduction target of 30% below 2005 levels. This bulletin briefly summarizes key information in the Bulletin and the emissions scenario modelling. Proposed Principles. The Bulletin notes that the federal government, in its Update to the Pan-Canadian Approach to Carbon Pollution Pricing 2023-2030, set out new and more stringent benchmark requirements ($65/tCO2e in 2023, rising $15/year to $170 in 2030) that all carbon pricing systems, including the EPS program, must meet under the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act. To meet the more stringent benchmark, the Ministry is proposing to design the next phase of the EPS program using the following guiding principles: provide continuity and predictability for Ontario businesses; incent GHG emissions reductions, which will help Ontario to meet its target to reduce GHG emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030; minimize the risk for carbon leakage (the risk of production leaving the province for other jurisdictions with less stringent climate policies), taking into account competitiveness impacts to Ontario industry; ensure the program continues to be fair, cost-effective, and flexible to the needs and circumstances of Ontario; and minimize regulatory burden. Emissions Reduction Modelling. New modelling released as part of the Bulletin provides updated forecasting of provincial emissions out to 2030. The modelling shows that Ontario’s emissions are forecasted to be 143.7 MT CO2e in 2030, slightly lower than Ontario’s 144 MT target for 2030. The Ministry notes, and as shown in the graph…

The Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (the Ministry) is seeking stakeholder feedback on proposed legislative changes to improve regulatory clarity and remove prohibitions on granting authorizations to use Crown land for carbon capture and storage (CCS) activities. The Ministry has also released a discussion paper on carbon storage, providing background on CCS and potential suitable sites in Ontario. This bulletin briefly summarizes the key changes:   Amendments to the Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act   Proposed Amendments to the Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act include: narrowing the prohibitions on the injection of carbon dioxide so that, going forward, the prohibition would no longer apply to potential carbon storage projects related to activities in wells regulated under the act other than for the purpose of carbon sequestration, when used in association with a project to enhance the recovery of oil or gas; adding the ability for the Ministry to enter into agreements with companies that want to use wells to explore, test, pilot or demonstrate new technologies (such as CCS) in relation to wells used for oil, gas, solution-mined salt as well as underground storage resources subject to Indigenous consultation requirements; and enhancing provisions for corporate accountability and allowing for the issuance of orders to prevent risks to the public or environment. Amendments to the Mining Act   Proposed changes to the Mining Act would allow the Ministry to grant authorizations to use Crown land for carbon storage activities.   Purpose   The Ministry notes that the proposed legislative amendments seek to provide greater regulatory clarity and support new energy concepts and technologies including CCS, as CCS is not currently subject to the provisions of the Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act framework. The Ministry indicated that entering into agreements with CCS project proponents at the pilot and demonstration stage will provide valuable knowledge, learning,…

Ontario’s Ministry of Energy (the Ministry) this week announced its intention to develop a new voluntary clean energy credit registry (CEC) registry. The Ministry has directed Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to research and report on the design of a provincial CEC registry by July 4, 2022. The Ministry also indicated that it intends to consider the IESO report and stakeholder feedback before implementing the CEC registry by January 2023.   The Ministry stated that the CEC Registry will assist businesses operating in Ontario to meet corporate environmental and sustainability goals. The voluntary CECs would represent 1 MWh of clean electricity generated from one or multiple non-emitting sources such as solar, wind, bioenergy, hydroelectric and nuclear. Purchasers will be allowed to purchase and retire the voluntary CECs to meet corporate and individual goals and demonstrate that their electricity is generated from non-emitting sources.  Revenue from the sale of CECs could (i) be returned to Ontario ratepayers to lower the cost of electricity and/or (ii) support future clean energy generation projects. The proposed CEC registry is intended to assist businesses to reduce emissions and meet the climate targets of the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan, Ontario’s climate and environment plan.   The CEC registry would match similar voluntary registries in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and New England For further information or to discuss the contents of this bulletin, please contact Lisa DeMarco at lisa@resilientllp.com.

The provincial government last week introduced Bill 13, Supporting People and Businesses Act, 2021, which includes legislative amendments to the Ontario Energy Board Act (OEB Act) and the Electricity Act.    Changes to the OEB Act include: removing the upper limit on the number of commissioners and providing that the Labour Relations Act does not apply to commissioners; and providing for a single process for ministerial review of certain by-laws made by the board of directors of the OEB. Changes to the Electricity Act include: creating a two-year limitation period that applies to certain payments, adjustments, and amounts settled by the IESO; and replacing current administrative penalties in Part VIII of the Act (which provides for the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA)) and empowering the ESA to order a person to pay an administrative penalty if the person has contravened a prescribed provision of Part VIII or the regulations made under it; certain restrictions, limitations or conditions of a prescribed authorization; or a prescribed order of the ESA. For further information or to discuss the contents of this bulletin, please contact Lisa DeMarco at lisa@resilientllp.com.