On September 22, 2017, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change posted a regulatory proposal notice on the Environmental Registry that included a number of regulatory changes to the cap and trade program; including, a proposal for the implementation of a new administrative penalties regulation under the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act , 2016 (CCMLEA).
As part of this regulatory proposal notice, the Ministry stated its intent to develop, and post for public comment, guidance material to be used by the Ministry when applying and calculating administrative penalties. This proposal notice fulfils the Ministry's commitment to provide the draft guidance document for public comment in order to help ensure transparent and appropriate application of administrative penalties under the cap and trade program.
In April 2015, the government announced it would be limiting greenhouse gas pollution by implementing a cap and trade program and its intent to link Ontario’s program with those of Quebec and California.
On May 18, 2016, the CCMLEA received Royal Assent.
On May 19, 2016, two regulations that form the backbone of the cap and trade program became law under the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act, 2016 – the Cap and Trade Program Regulation (O. Reg. 144/16) which took effect July 1, 2016 and the Quantification, Reporting and Verification of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Regulation (O. Reg. 143/16) which took effect January 1, 2017.
Ontario’s cap and trade program came into effect on July 1, 2016, with the first compliance period beginning on January 1, 2017.
On September 22, 2017 Ontario signed an agreement to integrate and harmonize cap and trade programs, effective January 1, 2018. Regulatory amendments were filed to allow for linking on November 24, 2017 and this will allow all three governments to hold joint auctions of greenhouse gas emission allowances.