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Ontario government promises public consultations on cap and trade after facing legal action

An environmental group that is taking the Ontario government to court over its decision to cancel the cap-and-trade system says the province has now committed to holding public consultations before moving ahead with the plan.

Greenpeace Canada says the Progressive Conservative government posted the notice of consultation on the Cap and Trade Cancellation Act late Tuesday, hours after the group announced its intentions to launch legal action.

Greenpeace asserted the government flouted the province’s Environmental Bill of Rights by failing to hold public consultations on Premier Doug Ford’s plan to scrap the cap-and-trade program.

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The government notice says public consultations will take place until Oct. 11.

Ontario’s Environment Ministry would not confirm that the government would wait until the consultation process is complete before voting on Bill 4, but expressed confidence that the legislation would meet “all necessary requirements.”

Greenpeace says it likely won’t proceed with plans to fast-track its lawsuit at an expedited hearing later this month, but indicated it would forge ahead with the lawsuit.

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