McKenna criticized for plan to give Loblaw $12M for new fridges
|globalnews.ca 09 Apr 2019 at 08:27|
“Installing new refrigerators results in 50,000 vehicles off the road every year, and Loblaw is also putting in money,” said McKenna to reporters on Tuesday when questioned about why Loblaw warranted the funding.
“There are all sorts of projects we’ve been doing with companies, with cities making investments. We’re all in this together. We need to make sure we’re working really hard to reduce our emissions, that we’re taking action in an affordable way and putting a price on pollution but giving the money back.”
She continued: “We need to take action across the board. Everyone has to be reducing their emissions.”
Loblaw, which brought in $800 million in earnings last year, will get $12 million under the Liberals’ new Low Carbon Economy Challenge Champion stream.
That program is part of the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund, which allocated roughly $2 billion to fund clean technology to reduce carbon emissions.
The first recipient under the Low Carbon Economy Challenge Champion stream, announced in January 2019, was a project by Enwave Energy Corporation to use deep, cold water from Lake Ontario to cool hospitals and other government, educational and highrise buildings in downtown Toronto.
But the announcement by McKenna on Monday has prompted criticism from the opposition parties and both civil and taxpayer advocates who are questioning why the government is giving money to help a profitable company retrofit the fridges in 370 stores and whether there are checks in place to monitor the funds.
The $12 million is set to be used by Loblaw for retrofits scheduled to take place between 2019 and 2022.
But it is not clear at this time whether the $12 million was given out in one chunk or whether it will be broken down as Loblaw hits retrofit targets, particularly given 2019 is an election year that could potentially see the Liberals — and their emissions-reduction focus — booted out of office.
Loblaws: fixed bread prices so staple food harder to buy for the hard pressed, fought raising minimum wage, was charged $360 mil for tax evasion but, in order to do the RIGHT thing are given $12million tax dollars, much of which from the very people they scorn. Wow. #cdnpoli https://t.co/AAVpyMo7Bq
Weird, you didn t hit Loblaws with a new tax.
You gave them a free $12 million handout – for new refrigerators!
I guess regular Canadians can pay for it out of the new tax you re sticking *them* with. https://t.co/pIjOvXkFaz
A funding agreement still needs to be hammered out, according to a press release from Environment and Climate Change Canada on Monday.
McKenna said Loblaw will also be making investments of up to $36 million to reduce emissions, though she did not specify what those investments will go towards.