Carbon Tax to Cost Hospitals $27.2 million by 2022

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott announces enhanced reporting for the province's battle with COVID-19. 2019 image

By: Laura Steiner

The new federal carbon tax could cost hospitals as much as $27.2 million/ year by 2022.  The estimate came in an statement by Environment Minister Rod Phillips, and Health Minister Christine Elliott on Tuesday at Milton Hospital.

The $27.2 million could pay for MRI’s for an additional 157,000 patients, or over 3300 pacemakers.  “Hospitals should be able to focus their resources on providing the quality, patient-centred care that Ontarians expect, and deserve, and not have to deal with rising operational costs,” Elliott said.  The costs this year are $10.9 million, accounted for by the increase on heating oil caused by the carbon tax.

The Progressive Conservatives introduced the Made-In-Ontario Environment Plan in October, 2018. They intend to lower emissions to 30% below 2005 levels, which is a target that aligns with the federal government’s Paris targets.   “Our plan serves as proof that you can both oppose a carbon tax and continue to do more to fight climate change- you don’t have to choose,” Phillips said.   The province has already reduced its emissions by approximately 22% over the period of 2005-2016 thanks in large part to the closure of the coal-fire generators.

The rest of Canada increased by approximately 3%.  “We don’t think they have a lot to teach,” Phillips said of the federal government.  Ontario is part of a court challenge on the carbon tax’s constitutionality.  The hearings are scheduled to begin April 15, 2019.  The carbon tax came into full effect on April 1, 2019.   In the 2019 federal budget, the government announced $475 million in aid for municipalities, universities, schools, colleges, hospitals, non-profits and Indigenous Communities over the next five years .  Ontario will get $50 million this year.

Below is Environment Minister Rod Phillips’ full statement.