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On September 12, 2018 Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic and the University of Ottawa partnering with Greenpeace Canada filed a lawsuit to stop Bill 4, the Cap and Trade Cancellation Act, 2018.

The claim alleges that the government “unlawfully failed” to engage in public consultations over the cancellation of the cap and trade program. The Environmental Bill of Rights (“EBR”) statutorily requires that a regulatory proposal be posted on the Environmental Registry for a 30-day period. ). The EBR requires government to consult the public on changes to environmental regulations and laws allowing residents, community groups, businesses and other stakeholders to provide comments on any proposed changes to environmental regulations and laws.

Shortly after the filing of the lawsuit, the Cap and Trade Cancellation Act, 2018, was posted on the Environmental Registry for a 30-day public consultation period.

The details of the proposal to wind-down the greenhouse gas cap and trade program including the compensation framework the EBR states:

With respect to the wind down of the Cap and Trade Program, the matters addressed by the Act include the following:

  1. The retirement and cancellation of cap and trade instruments.
  2. The payment by the Crown of compensation in respect of cap and trade instruments, the amount of which is to be determined in accordance with the regulations. The obligation to pay compensation is subject to various limitations set out in the Act.
  3. Preventing any cause of action from arising against the Crown and specified related persons as a result of various specified matters, including the enactment of the Act and the repeal of the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act, 2016.
  4. The extinguishment of any existing proceedings, and the prevention of any future proceedings, against the Crown and other specified related persons, in relation to specified matters.

Comments can be submitted directly to the registry until October 11, 2018 at https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/013-3738.

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