To the major Ontario Political Parties (Liberal, Conservative, New Democratic Party and Green Party) contesting this Provincial Election: We request that you state your party’s policy on the issues below and/or directly answer the questions. We will share your response with other Environmental Organizations and the Ontario media.
1. GHG Reduction Targets
Context: Ontario has a provincial Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction target that reflects scientific opinion as to what is needed to reduce emissions and avoid run-away climate change. These targets are: 6% below 1990 levels by 2014 (which Ontario will meet), 15% below 1990 levels by 2020, and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.
Question: Would your party, if elected, move a Legislative Resolution by which the Provincial Legislature re-affirms Ontario’s commitment to those targets?
2. Government Commitment to Climate Reduction
Context: When asked recently what was the single most important and meaningful action governments could take to get more serious on climate, former US Vice President Gore’s responded: “Put a price on carbon in markets, and a price on denial in politics.”
(a) Is your party prepared to accept as a basis for action in Ontario that climate change is a clear and present danger so that government policy must be a key driver in structuring everything we do as a society, starting immediately post-election and continuing for several decades?
(b) Is your party prepared to “put a price on carbon” using “market mechanisms” to drive the changes we need in reducing GHG emissions?
(c) Will your party rapidly complete and report on the consultation called for in the Ministry of the Environment’s Discussion Paper of January, 2013 entitled “Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions in Ontario” and implement that report as soon as possible?
3. Price on Carbon vs Cap-and-Trade
Context: There are two principal policy approaches by which a price on carbon can be administered: a system of cap-and-trade (the policy currently preferred in an Ontario Government study) or a carbon tax.
Question: Does your party prefer either of these approaches, and, if so, which one? What would be the features of your preferred program?
4. Renewable Energy
Context: Provincial incentives to encourage greater use of wind turbines and solar panels complemented the successful phase out of coal-fired plants on the grounds of environmental and public health concerns. Although some critics say renewable energies are unpredictable and costly, the Ontario legislature recently confirmed its commitment to sourcing more electricity from new emerging green technologies, which are expanding around the world as both reliable sources of electricity and solutions to our environmental challenges.
Question: What steps will your party recommend to increase more power generation from emerging renewables?
5. Municipal vs Provincial Responsibility
Context: Recent events have shown how vulnerable our municipal infrastructure is in the face of climate change challenges.
Question: Should the province establish programs that encourage and assist municipalities in updating their infrastructure to face the greater risks of damage caused by windstorms or floods?
6. Transit Infrastructure
Context: The Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto made a commitment to reduce GHG and has achieved substantial reductions from emissions from three sectors. However, emissions from transport have risen and are projected to continue to rise.
Question: Will your party financially support a public transport/transit infrastructure that will assist municipalities (and regions) in reducing transport emissions? In the case of the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, does your party have a preferred option?
7. Energy Efficiency Policies:
Context: Policies to encourage energy efficiency and conservation are viewed as the most effective way to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.
Question: What programs will your party implement to ensure the greatest efficiency and conservation of energy?
– The For Our Grandchildren Community
* * * To All 4RG supporters: The above questions need answers from our provincial political candidates. To make sure that our political leaders don’t side step their responsibility to state where their party stands, please copy and paste the below text into an email to these leaders requesting their public response. They need to know that many amongst their constituents share these concerns and demand answers, and we need many voices joined together if we hope to elicit a response. The party leaders can be reached individually via email at: