Ontario government passes legislation to scrap cap and trade

The Ontario government has passed legislation to repeal the province's cap-and-trade system, putting the final nail in the coffin of a program Premier Doug Ford has long promised to scrap.

The bill was introduced in July but the final vote was delayed when an environmental group launched legal action against the government, alleging the province had flouted the province's Environmental Bill of Rights by failing to hold public consultations on the issue.

The government immediately launched public consultations on the bill, which wrapped mid-October. The results of that consultation have not yet been made public.

The legal action will still move forward, however, on allegations that the government also bypassed mandatory consultations on a regulation related to the cancellation of cap and trade.

 Ford vowed to eliminate the system and fight Ottawa's carbon pricing plan during the spring election campaign, arguing both were too expensive for residents and businesses.

His government has already cancelled programs financed through cap-and-trade revenues, which include rebates for energy-efficient renovations, transit projects and a fund for school repairs.