Quebec tables cap-and-trade bill
The government of the Province of Quebec has tabled Bill 42 to introduce a cap-and-trade system in the province. The Globe and Mail reports that the bill may be passed as early as June, with reporting obligations beginning next fall. The first caps will be implemented for the period of 2012 to 2015.
The Globe quotes Quebec Environment Minister Line Beauchamp as saying, "we hope Quebec's participation in this common market with Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia will incite the federal government to co-operate with the provinces to develop a Canadian carbon market compatible with what is taking place elsewhere in the world."
Ontario is apparently set to follow suit in the coming weeks. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty recently said, "we [the leaders of Ontario and Quebec] both agree that we have an opportunity, even a responsibility here in Canada, to put in place a carbon-exchange register that will, one way or another, serve as kind of a pilot project that the federal government and maybe even the government in Washington can use as a base for a national program."
Ontario and Quebec signed an accord last year to implement a joint cap and trade scheme. Along with Manitoba and British Columbia, they are also members of the Western Climate Initiative ("WCI"), which is committed to implementing a regional scheme by 2012.
The announcements follow on a report by the federal Environmental Commissioner (discussed here) that is critical of the federal government's existing emissions reduction plans. Ottawa has been signalling recently that it may update its plan to achieve its goals of protecting Canada's interests while harmonizing to the greatest extent possible with developments south of the border.