Ontario and Quebec will adopt joint regulations and common rules for allowable carbon offsets, creating a seamless cap-and-trade market for producers and procurers of credits in both provinces. Premiers Kathleen Wynne and Philippe Couillard also announced plans to promote their teamwork at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris this December, in keeping with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) the two leaders signed late last week.
The MOU on climate change was part of package of initiatives arising from a joint meeting of the two provincial cabinets. The two groups also agreed to collaborate on economic development, pension administration, social housing and cultural pursuits. Notably, they will be exploring heightened trade in electricity, allowing Ontario to tap into Quebec’s hydroelectric resources.
“We are committed to concluding a long-term agreement to purchase clean and affordable energy from Quebec,” Ontario Premier Wynne affirmed. “Energy collaboration is a key element of the Ontario-Quebec partnership.”
Other identified areas of shared environmental concern include water management and sustainable forestry. On the social and economic development front, Ontario will be looking to Quebec’s best practices as it rolls out the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, and the provinces have announced plans for a joint summit on housing and homelessness.
“This is one of the invaluable advantages that come from strong relations within the Canadian federation: that our actions can be aligned and well informed,” Quebec Premier Couillard observed.