Today I asked the minister about the cancellation of the GreenON program.
Mr. Ian Arthur: My question is for the Minister of the Environment.
I have met with many small businesses and families who have been affected by the cancellation of the GreenON program on June 19, like Michael Braby, who owns a small business, Aaben Windows and Doors; and his customers, who were supposed to receive the rebates.
The problem with how the government is withdrawing from this is that there are so many contracts, it would take until January to finish them all.
Now, I know this government is completely comfortable with arbitrarily cancelling contracts, but there is no need to force those values on the small businesses and families of Ontario. Instead of cancelling them with an October 31 deadline, will the minister work to extend it until January 31 at least, until all those contracts can be done that were entered into in good faith?
Hon. Rod Phillips: Mr. Speaker, through you, I thank the member for his question.
This is a government that has been quite responsive to the various parties that were involved in this program. We have set the dates based on consultation with those parties and we will stick with those dates.
But let me tell you, Mr. Speaker, to the member, that the important thing to remember is that all of this, all of the subsidy, was being paid for by taxpayers; all of the subsidy was coming out of the pockets of Ontarians. The only responsible thing to do when we made the decision on behalf of Ontarians to cut the cap-and-trade carbon tax program was to end that program. We’ve worked to do that on an orderly basis and we will continue to do so.
The Speaker (Hon. Ted Arnott): Supplementary.
Mr. Ian Arthur: Again to the Minister of the Environment: Mike has lined up jobs for November, December and January that represent $177,000 in green Ontario rebates. Those families signed up in good faith before the sudden cancellation of the green Ontario program. Now those jobs are at risk. Mike is just one of the many contractors across Ontario who are still being affected by this cancellation.
The Premier promised to put money back in the pockets of Ontarians. So why is he taking thousands and thousands of dollars out of the pockets of Ontario families and out of the pockets of small businesses in Ontario?
Hon. Rod Phillips: Mr. Speaker, through you, thank you to the member for his follow-up question.
What the NDP doesn’t appreciate is that the money for Mike is coming from 10,000 other Mikes, from 10,000 other Marthas, from Ontarians across the province who are tired of paying a tax to prop up a subsidy program and to prop up a carbon tax cap-and-trade program that is not working. So, with respect, we will stick with our October 31 deadline.
The Speaker (Hon. Ted Arnott): Sit down. Sit down.
Next question. The member for Mississauga–Streetsville.