The Ontario Election and Climate Change

Many voters concerned about climate change grudgingly accepted the Liberals over its principal challenger, the Ontario Conservative Party. These voters gave the Liberal party credit for what it had accomplished in reducing GHG emissions.  They were prepared to give some breathing room before expecting more action on the subject.  Their choice was made easier by the Conservative’s indifference … Read more

Tough Answers to Tough Questions

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 responded:  “Put a price on carbon in markets, and a price on denial in politics.” 

Our Questions: 

(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?

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Climate Change and the Ontario PC Party

This, our second commentary on Climate Change Questions to Leaders of the Ontario Political Parties, has been a challenge.   We delivered our questions to Tim Hudak’s constituency riding and the Party’s Campaign Headquarters in Toronto. We didn’t get an answer directly from Mr. Hudak or his Party’s Election HQ but we twice received this response from his constituency office:

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Climate Change and the Liberal Party of Ontario???

We invited the Liberal Party to respond to our questions to party leaders, and we did receive an email from a Party Representative that answers would be forthcoming.

When our commentary appeared on our Website on May 29, we had not received a further response from the Liberal Party. So we examined the Party Website to see what it told us. As we reported to you,  very little.

Today, June 4th, we received a response dated May 27 signed by Premier Wynne.  Accordingly we have revised our previous commentary.

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A Senior’s Letter to Premier Wynne

Dear Premier Wynne,

You were recently quoted as saying:

“My value system is: We have a responsibility as government to allow people to have a secure retirement. . . . There is a stark difference between those who believe this is a good idea and those who don’t.”

Your words were addressed to pensions for seniors, but they are equally applicable to the environment that seniors hope for when they retire in the next decades.

Global warming is a reality that will bring heat waves of greater frequency and severity in mid-latitude areas such as Ontario.  Elderly citizens are most at risk from these extreme events: increased heat-related deaths, greater anxiety, dislocation of living patterns and the like.

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Yorklands Green Hub

Methane is a powerful GreenHouse Gas.  Methane emissions, such as the potential emissions from the Arctic waters, present a longer-term threat to our climate. There are other sources of methane that contribute to this threat, such as emissions from extraction of natural gas, and the recycling of organic waste.

Harvest Power is an American company that specializes in processes that generate electricity from organic waste.  A Harvest Power subsidiary in B.C. received a $4 million grant from the Federal Clean Energy Fund to develop a high efficiency system for producing renewable energy from food and yard waste. The proposal is to extract purified methane from waste that would otherwise be landfill.  This methane is then used to generate electricity.

This development is timely.  Unfortunately there are many municipal waste sites that still vent methane to the atmosphere.

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Tough Criticism of the Ontario Liberals!

A flurry of criticism over executive salaries paid by the Ontario Power Generation Corporation generated leading paragraphs in a recent Globe and Mail editorial. Yet, as the editorial pointed out, these payments were not the main reason why the Province’s electricity prices are now among the highest in North America, and going much higher.

The editorial correctly identifies the biggest contributor to the cost of electricity to consumers and businesses: the Ontario Green Energy Plan that requires increased investment in wind and solar generation of power.

Canadians have enjoyed cheap prices for their energy.  Our country is blessed by abundant sources of hydro power.  Our gas prices have always been considerably less than in Europe.  So Canadian electors have proved to be reluctant to accept the high costs attached to the transformation of the generation of electricity from fossil fuels to renewables.

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