OTTAWA, ON – This morning it was announced that Canada’s controversial carbon tax program is being shelved in favour of a bold pay-per-use program to be rolled out in mid-2020. The new program requires that all Canadian residences and businesses be retrofitted with coin-operated power outlets at each location within any home and office building, which users can then pay to use the outlet when electricity is needed.

The Coin Operated Power Outlet Program, or COPOP, will accept Loonies or Toonies, and can be compounded by multiple coins for up to 8 hours of runtime so users can avoid having to “feed the meter” every hour while they enjoy electricity.

For example, if a user puts a Loonie in the outlet, the outlet becomes active for 1 hour. If they put 3 Loonies in the outlet, it would activate for 3 hours.  A Tonie gets a user 2 hours, or 3 would allow for 6 hours.  Children in grades 1-5 will also receive special amendments to the math curriculum to ensure they understand the strategies behind optimal power usage.

Artists rendering of what the COPOP outlets may look like.

COPOP is designed to make users think about, and ration, their power usage. The Carbon Tax was designed to increase prices to the point that users avoided using fossil fuels to save money, but due to rampant backlash from Canadians and indeed most provinces, a new angle of attack was necessary. By putting the decision to use power directly in the face of every Canadian every time they want to turn on a TV, or charge an iPhone, or plug in their car, the government hopes to curb usage and make people see how horrible they are for the environment.

COPOP will require a significant out-of-pocket investment for all Canadians upon implementation, at roughly $50 per outlet, plus a home service fee of $20 a month for the COPOP Meter Maid staff as they visit each home or business weekly to collect the coins and haul them to collection facilities in retired Canadian Forces 2.5 ton trucks, which were converted to electric drives by SJC Javalin.

The COPOP program is expected to employ 60,000 to 120,000 Canadians as Meter Maid staff and administrative persons. In Alberta and parts of Saskatchewan, the coin collectors will primarily be unemployed geologists and engineers from the oil and gas industry.

The initial investments of roughly $2,500 to 6,000 for outlets will be credited back to families and business by the CRA on 2020 and 2021 federal tax returns.

COPOP users will pay their fees either online via website, or in person upon collection with more Loonies or Toonies. If successful, credit card and Apple Pay models will be made available following the finalization of the pilot program in 2025.

In related news, the new COPOP program coincides with 3 major acquisitions in the manufacturing sector in Ontario. CordsPlus, Distribution Solutions, and PowerString, all manufacturers of extension cords and power distribution cords and bars, were wholly acquired by Montreal-based Mordoh Sheephill.


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