This issue gets the attention of all levels of Government – no doubt because voters are concerned. I asked all candidates in the upcoming Provincial election: What are your policies on the Environment and Sustainability? and they all responded. They all agreed that action is needed and most have specific ideas although general policies get some attention too.
This is the third question in the series of four – the next question is: How will you ensure Seniors get good Long Term Care? This is scheduled for publication on May 23.
Meanwhile advanced voting has started – you can get details from the voting information card you should already have received from Elections Ontario or from the Cobourg Internet Information site in Resources below.
The sequence of responses this time is alphabetical by party name.
Lisa Francis – Green Party
We need real climate action and we need it now. The Ontario Green Party has a practical plan to achieve real change, and the leadership to make it happen, while making Ontario a global leader in the new climate economy. Our communities were not built to withstand the extreme weather events that are becoming more common, and intensifying each year.
We will support municipalities in the transition to cleaner, greener infrastructure.
Ontario Greens’ will create hundreds of thousands of jobs retrofitting our buildings, manufacturing EVs, and creating low-carbon products and technologies.
We will protect at least 25% of lands and water in Ontario by 2025 and 30% by 2030.
Ontario Greens will protect and restore natural areas that sequester carbon and protect biodiversity, including grasslands and peatlands, old growth forests, and ecological corridors between protected areas.
We stand for strong environmental justice and will strengthen environmental oversight and public consultation. We will achieve this by restoring the Office of the Environmental Commissioner, establishing and enforcing industry sector standards for air and water pollution to protect health, and restoring a robust environmental assessment process.
Jeff Kawzenuk – Liberal
- Slash transit fares to $1 until 2024, taking 400,000 daily car trips off the road;
- Cut pollution in half by 2030;
- Strengthening the requirements of the Conservative’s existing industrial Emissions Performance Standards to ensure the biggest polluters do their part to meet our 50% reduction target;
- Expand the Greenbelt and designating 30% of Ontario land as protected areas, up from 10%;
- Stop Highway 413 and responsibly maintain crucial highways;
- Provide a 30% rebate of up to $500 on e-bikes;
- Provide up to $9,500 in rebates on non-luxury electric vehicles and vehicle charging equipment;
- Provide grants of up to $3,000 each year for people and businesses who want to make eco-friendly renos like new windows, insulation, heat pumps, and flood protection;
- Create 25,000 new green-jobs and a new Green Jobs Fund to invest in made-in-Ontario clean technology innovations; and
- Increase funding for separated bike lanes and cycling trails, bike-sharing and rental services, and secure bike parking.
- Cut carbon and methane pollution by more than 50% by 2030.
Joshua Chalhoub – New Blue Party
How we go about protecting our environment and creating a sustainable future cannot be achieved without first creating policies and designing effective and achievable long-term plans that bring all stakeholders to the table. Attempting to develop environmental policies in a vacuum to simply address the problem superficially results in band-aid solutions with very few targets met. We have seen numerous policies and projects fail because of the short sightedness of previous governments. Policies and targets must also include socioeconomic impact, possible risks to the environment, natural habitant, and adverse inequities. While wind turbines seemed like a feasible alternative, they have unfortunately driven up electricity costs while costing taxpayers billions.
I would like to see more of our Greenbelt protected and ensure that more green space is created in all future development of land (private and crown projects) and infrastructure projects have reasonable goals without creating undue financial hardship at consumption levels. Human activities have an impact on natural environment – let’s focus on the issues that create the biggest negative impact and less on limited or no effect initiatives. Increase reuse and recycle programs, advance socially responsible projects in communities while ensuring that federal, provincial, municipal levels of government and the private sector all work together to meet those challenges of the future.
Environmental sustainability can only be conceived and achieved when we seek to address the issues by measuring the success against the overall cost and the benefits gained towards the future.
Kim McArthur-Jackson – New Democratic Party
Under leadership of Andrea Horwath, NDP has laid out the boldest, most effective and achievable climate plan Ontario’s ever had.
Our plan is based on values of equity, affordability, and reconciliation.
We’ll implement a climate stress test on all provincial infrastructure, existing and planned, making repairs and upgrades where needed.
Working with groups like the Insurance Bureau of Canada, our plan will invest in flood defences, support people moving off floodplains, make sure Ontarians have access to affordable flood insurance, and mandate flood risk disclosure in real estate listings.
We’ll work with all municipalities to make the Green New Democratic Deal a reality:
Strong greenhouse gas reduction targets — in line with the most ambitious commitments in the Paris Climate Accords, aimed at limiting the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius
- A mandate for all newly built public, residential and commercial buildings to be net-zero emissions by 2030, alongside a world-leading building retrofit program
- Electrifying all municipal transit by 2040
- Giving $600 to households to install electric vehicle charging stations at home, and requiring new homes to have vehicle charging capacity
- Establishing Ontario’s first Youth Climate Corps
- Restoring powers of the Environment Commissioner
- Planting one billion trees by 2030
We’re looking at all our policies and plans through our Green New Democratic Deal lens – from our commitment to stop the GTA West highway from slicing through the Greenbelt and paving over critical farmland, to how we’ll build long-term care homes and schools.
Vanessa Head – Ontario Party
An Ontario Party government will:
Adopt a simple Canada-first policy that prioritizes national sovereignty, energy independence and good environmental stewardship. We are natural resource rich and we will implement strategies to manage the resources we have been blessed with.
David Piccini – PC Party
Our PC Party’s plan focuses on clean, green, growth for generations to come.
We are taking concrete action on climate change by partnering with industry, phasing out coal in big industry through the electrification of the arc furnace at Algoma and Dofasco (equivalent of taking 1 million cars off the road), making Ontario a world leader in clean steel production; and, positioning Ontario as a world leader in the production of electric vehicles and batteries.
I firmly believe that incentives for the wealthiest to purchase EVs made outside Canada is not the way. We are creating a domestic market through a $5 billion investment in electric vehicles, partnering with the Federal Government so that we can secure Ontario’s first ever EV battery plant that will mean 2,500 jobs and a supply of Made-in-Ontario zero emission cars for the North American market.
As a Government we’ve also passed new emissions standards for large emitters to reduce their carbon emissions; increased fines to hold polluters accountable; and, launched a comprehensive Sulphur Dioxide regulation that will finally mean cleaner air in the Sarnia region.
To protect Ontario’s land: we’ve restored and added over 1,200 hectares of wetland; protected the largest area of Boreal wild lands in Canada’s history; and, have protected more lands than any Government since the Living Legacy that includes the first new provincial park in over 20 years.
- Cobourg Provincial Elections Facts about the election – includes information about all-Candidates’ meetings – 3 meetings: May 20, 24 and 26
- Election Candidate Responses on Health – First question – 14 May 2022
- Affordable Housing Question – Second Question – 17 May 2022