file photo.

Cancelling Cap And Trade Affects Windsor Bike Lane Projects

The sudden cancellation of Ontario’s Cap and Trade program has taken City of Windsor officials off guard as they evaluate the impact on projects.

The province cancelled the program effective July 3. The impact at school boards has been felt immediately with the loss of $2.5-million for the Greater Essex County District School Board, and $840,000 for the Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board.

City Engineer Mark Winterton says his department is evaluating the impact of losing that “couple hundred thousand dollars” and will have a report for city council soon.

“With things moving fairly quickly with the provincial government, we really don’t know exactly what that impact is until the dust settles,” says Winterton. “It’s something that’s left us scrambling a little bit, but we kind of knew because Mr. Ford announced what his platform was.”

Cancelling Cap and Trade was a centrepiece in Premier Doug Ford’s election campaign.

Immediately, Winterton says he can say it will affect some bike lane projects across the city and other environmental projects.

“Things like McDougall, California, we’re looking at an underpass at E.C. Row in the east end, Northwood, some tie-ins with some of the existing cycling lanes,” he says.

Not that all of the projects will end up in the trash bin. Winterton says it is possible some will be saved as his department looks for other sources of revenue including the federal government.

“There’s always a partnering component from the city,” he explains. “So, out of our regular budget, we would potentially gather up the money we had set aside and maybe do one of the several projects.”