Climate Change Regulatory Update: The “Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan” — More carrots, fewer sticks and a dash of sunlight

  • January 03, 2019
  • Liane Langstaff and Erin Farrell

On November 29, 2018, the Government of Ontario released its plan, "Preserving and Protecting our Environment for Future Generations: A Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan" (the Plan).[1] The Plan provides Ontario's response to the federal government's carbon pricing backstop and touches on multiple environmental issues, including water pollution, greenspace, waste management and litter. This article will focus on those parts of the Plan that address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other types of air pollution. 


The plan is a very high level document. It does not provide details on any new laws, regulations or policies. What the plan does do is provide an overview of where the Government of Ontario is heading in respect of the environment, setting out its priorities and the ways in which it plans to approach environmental issues. With respect to climate change, the plan reflects the previous political messaging - that Ontario will not put a price on carbon. For GHG emissions, the plan will try to implement measures to allow Ontario to achieve a target reduction in GHGs consistent with Canada's obligations under the Paris Agreement.