The Ford Government passes the buck on #ClimateAction #ONpoli

Ontario’s new “Climate Policy” is passing the buck to us.  As with the previous government, ordinary people are encouraged to renovate our homes and buy more fuel efficient cars.  But now, the program subsidies that would help us do these things are gone.  Even worse, our tax dollars will go into a fund to reward industries who pollute now.

So.  People get no help to do our part.  Instead, our tax dollars will go to fuel big businesses.

Sounds like money out of our pocket.  Again.

You can read it yourself here:

https://prod-environmental-registry.s3.amazonaws.com/2018-11/EnvironmentPlan.pdf

Mike Schreiner on Ontario’s new “Climate” Plan

“We were promised a climate strategy, but were given a litter reduction plan.

If this is the government’s response to the dire warnings from the IPCC about the impending climate catastrophe, then they clearly were not listening.

Instead of showing leadership, the government is weakening Ontario’s previous targets and adopting an unproven carbon trust model that is unlikely to reduce emissions. The new Trudeau/Harper targets mean that we will fail to meet the goals set under Paris Climate Agreement.

More importantly we will not meet our obligations to leave a livable planet for our children and grandchildren.

Asking citizens to pay polluters and setting up burdensome new regulations will only cost more and delay action. These will do little to put Ontario on a pathway to being carbon neutral by 2050. Instead, they signal that Ontario is throwing in the towel.

And asking Ontarians to reduce litter in the face a climate crisis is like the US President asking Californians to rake leaves to prevent forest fires.

We should expect better. We must demand a real plan.

Pollution pricing is basic economics. But this government continues to ignore the consensus from scientists, experts and even conservative economists who agree on it. The Premier could embrace the $26 trillion clean economy and put money directly in people’s pockets by adopting the Green Party’s carbon fee and dividend solution.

At the end of the day, we will all pay the price for this irresponsible plan. But in the face of evidence and real solutions, this government has chosen to be on the wrong side of history.”

Mike Schreiner, Leader
Green Party of Ontario
https://gpo.ca/2018/11/29/pc-government-releases-litter-reduction-plan-not-climate-plan/

 

 

 

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Mike Schreiner on Bill 57 #ONpoli

Quote: Ontario should be leading the electric vehicle revolution, not losing jobs to it." Mike Schreiner addresses the Legislative Assembly of Ontario

I don’t think it’s just me.   Or even partisanship.  Every time Mike Schreiner speaks in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, he makes a lot of sense.

Yesterday Mike rose to debate Bill 57, speaking against:

  • the elimination of independent legislative officers,
  • dismantling checks and balances,
  • a resurgence of big money dominance of Ontario politics,
  • further erosion of transparency, and
  • more centralization of power.

Watch the 6 minute video and see who is representing us at Queen’s Park:

Should Fracking and Tarsands Expansion be *EXEMPT* from environmental review?

We don’t.

If the Trudeau Government goes ahead and does *this* it will make it even harder to stop such projects even when it’s clear they aren’t in the public interest thanks because of all the ISDS clauses in all the so called “free trade” agreements our governments keep signing.   I don’t think this is what voters envisioned when candidate Justin Trudeau’s campaign promises about fixing the regulatory framework.

Here’s what Environmental Defence has to say:

Canada’s government is proposing to exempt two of the highest-carbon types of projects in the country—fracking and in situ tar sands projects – from the federal environmental review process.

As part of the federal government’s reform of the environmental laws that guide the review process for energy and industrial projects, it has proposed a new approach to the list of projects that are legally required to undergo a federal impact assessment.

The list currently includes everything from coal mines to pipelines to refineries to airports to offshore wind farms. Fracking and in situ tar sands developments are notably absent from the list.

In addition to questions about chemicals, earthquakes and groundwater contamination, the carbon pollution from fracked gas can be as high as coal. Meanwhile, the oil industry is planning to massively expand in situ tar sands projects, which by 2030 are projected to emit as much carbon as all of the personal vehicles in the country. Yet the federal government wants to give fracking and in situ a free pass on environmental impact assessments.

In addition to questions about chemicals, earthquakes and groundwater contamination, the carbon pollution from fracked gas can be as high as coal. Meanwhile, the oil industry is planning to massively expand in situ tar sands projects, which by 2030 are projected to emit as much carbon as all of the personal vehicles in the country. Yet the federal government wants to give fracking and in situ a free pass on environmental impact assessments.

Tell the federal government to frack off. ALL high-carbon projects must get a federal impact assessment.

If you agree with us that this is a very bad idea indeed, use the handy Environmental Defence tool to send a letter to Catherine McKenna (Environment and Climate Change Minister), Amarjeet Sohi, (Natural Resources Minister, and your local MP.

Tell the Government what you think

Public Forum: Adapting to Climate Change in Waterloo Region

In 2013 the Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival blew away.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018
5:45 PM – 8:00 PM EST

The Region of Waterloo is consulting with a wide variety of local organizations and residents to develop a Community-wide Climate Adaptation Plan. This plan aims to help reduce the potential impacts of extreme weather and climate change to the community. Impacts could affect human health and safety, cause damages to properties and infrastructure, and negatively affect the natural environment.

By participating in this Public Forum, you will have an opportunity to:

  • Discover how climate change may affect Waterloo Region, and how these impacts can be addressed through the Region’s Community-wide Climate Adaptation Plan
  • Help shape the Plan by participating in an interactive activity, where you will have an opportunity to provide input and ideas on potential actions that the community can take to better prepare for climate change and extreme weather.

A light meal and refreshments will be served.

PRELIMINARY AGENDA

5:45 – 6:00 – Doors open, food and beverages available

6:00 – 6:30 – Introductory presentation, including an overview of the Community Climate Adaptation Plan and priority risks for Waterloo Region

6:30 – 8:00 – Interactive brainstorming activity

ADDITIONAL VENUE INFORMATION

The event will be held in Room 1-42 at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, located in the CIGI Campus at 67 Erb Street West, Waterloo.
Parking in the CIGI parking lot behind the building will be free for attendees of this event.

Space is limited, so please register if you would like to attend.
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/public-forum-adapting-to-climate-change-in-waterloo-region-tickets-51476361182

*Note: This is not a WRGreens Event

THE MANITOBA STORY: A BASIC INCOME FILM & PANEL PRESENTATION #Mincome

November 21st, 2018
6:45 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
David Braley Health Sciences Centre Auditorium, |
100 Main Street W.,
2nd Floor, Hamilton L8P 1H6

THE MANITOBA STORY: A BASIC INCOME FILM
& PANEL PRESENTATION
Hamilton Basic Income Group and The Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction invite you to attend this free basic income film screening and panel presentation on
From 1974-1979 the first full-scale pilot of a Universal Basic Income was implemented in Manitoba. During the experiment, every resident of the small town of Dauphin was eligible to receive unconditional cash, just for signing up. The project was called Mincome. The results of Mincome, buried for 40 years, are brought to light in this documentary – a Truth Be Told film.

Panelists:

DR. EVELYN FORGET,
Health Economist, University of Manitoba
Author of The Town With No Poverty and Basic Income for Canadians: The key to a healthier, happier, more secure life for all

RON HIKEL
Executive Director of the Mincome project from 1974 to 1978

LIVING PROOF SPEAKERS
Hamilton participants in the Ontario Basic Income Pilot

Also featuring Humans of Basic Income portraits by photographer Jessie Golem

Wednesday, November 21, 6:45 – 9:00PM

REGISTER for this Free event
https://www.bruha.com/event/4036

*Note: This is not a WRGreens Event

A made-in-Ontario Climate Change Plan

Liberal MPs Marwan Tabbara, Bardish Chagger, Raj Saini, Bryan May and Conservative MP Harold Albrecht
Liberal MPs Marwan Tabbara, Bardish Chagger, Raj Saini, Bryan May and Conservative MP Harold Albrecht  Waterloo Region Climate Change Consultation, Kitchener, 2016

When I attended the Kitchener Climate Change Consultation in 2016 it was incredible to see all 5 Waterloo Region MPs in attendance, not just the 4 new Liberal MPs, but my own Conservative MP Harold Albrecht was there too.

Facilitator David Weber

Unsurprisingly 3 of our WRGreen candidates were there helping facilitate the discussions.

I believe our Kitchener Climate Consultation was the biggest one held across Canada.  It had more than a full slate of MPs, there were hundreds of engaged citizens there to participate.

There was a lot of great discussion and valuable input as citizens brainstormed ways we could come together and bring Climate Change to heel.

Facilitator Stacey Danckert

It was a heady time.  Critical thinking and creativity came together as citizens from across the political spectrum contributed different pieces of the solution to Climate Change, the existential global crisis of our time.

But Waterloo Region was up for it. We were ready.

Each round table discussion yielded up a blueprint of action.  And at the end of the day, each table’s facilitators presented a verbal report of the high points to the entire assembly.

Although all 5 Waterloo Region MPs were there, its pretty clear none of them actually listened.

Former Progressive Conservative Party Leader Patrick Brown had had a fully costed moderate election platform complete with carbon tax.  But it seems the PC Party backroom boys weren’t ready for a carbon tax, so Mr Brown and his platform were replaced with Mr Ford and a series of off-the-cuff promises masquerading as a platform.

One of the huge costs associated with winner-take-all politics is the policy lurch that happens when a centrist party is replaced by a right wing party.  Which is exactly what we’re seeing here in Ontario.

But even before winning the leadership or the election, one thing Doug Ford was *always* clear about was his intention to get rid of the Liberal’s Cap & Trade carbon mitigation system.

CARBON PRICING

With Climate Change breathing down our necks, carbon pricing is intended to disincentivise Green House Gas emissions.  It does this by forcing polluters to take financial responsibility for the pollution they generate.

Cap and Trade revenue flowing into Government coffers is supposed to help government finance our necessary transition to a sustainable economy.

While it is clear that carbon pricing is imperative, personally, I am not at all unhappy to see the dismantling of the McGuinty-Wynne Cap and Trade system, although a more orderly change would have been nice.

One big problem with Ontario’s Cap and Trade was that its carbon targets simply weren’t anywhere close to being high enough.

Another was that as many as 100 of the worst corporate polluters were exempted.

From my perspective, the worst thing about Cap and Trade is that it creates a government revenue stream.   Governments get very attached to revenue streams.   And the Ontario Liberals had made good use of the Cap and Trade funds that flowed into government coffers.

What do schools have to do with Carbon Pricing?

Ontario schools have been struggling since the 1990’s when the Mike Harris Sr government diverted education tax funds from community school boards into the general government coffers.  Now, instead of dispensing all the funds collected for Ontario elementary and high school education through property tax directly to the schools, in the name of “efficiency” education funding was suddenly dependent on a “funding formula” that was more about redistributing education tax than educating our kids.

Government works in mysterious ways… instead of fixing this elementary school, they built a new one.

Suddenly there wasn’t enough money in the Education budget for elementary school music class and librarians.  In the rich province of Ontario, school budgets were reduced the bare minimum to function.  Chronic underfunding begun by the Mike Harris Sr PC government and carried on by the McGuinty-Wynne Liberals  over decades naturally meant there was never enough funding to properly maintain the infrastructure.

But when school buildings began to crumble across the province, the Liberals had to do something: and so some of the Cap and Trade revenue was earmarked to fix our schools.   (Although spun in the media as needed repairs, in truth these funds were supposed to be used to retrofit schools to make them more energy efficient.)     Sadly even that is gone now, and the folks at http://fixourschools.ca/ will tell you that Ontario schools still need a whole lot of fixing.

Federal Backstop Carbon Pricing

Canadians for Carbon Dividends Ontario Chart

But Ontario’s carbon pricing void will presently be filled with a different kind of carbon pricing, as the Federal Government implements a Carbon Fee and Dividend regime.

This is the carbon pricing policy advocated by both federal and Provincial Green Parties in Canada because it is a much more equitable system.

The fees collected from industry polluters don’t go to line government coffers, but are instead payed out directly to citizens to help us weather the transition.

The dividends counter the price increases industry will pass on to consumers.  The way it works out is that consumers with the smallest carbon footprint actually come out ahead.

Even so, it still is not enough.

The IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has made it clear that we aren’t doing nearly enough to address Climate Change.  They’ve given us a timeline of 12 years, and time is running out.

While we need to get the new federal Carbon Pricing system up and running, it is only the start.

So it is a very good thing Ontario’s Doug Ford PC Government has stepped up and is conducting its own

Consultation: A made-in-Ontario climate change plan

We never know if our winner-take-all governments will listen, but when they ask us for input on important issues, it is well worth responding.  Even if they ignore what we have to say, at least we will be on the record.  And the record will be there for the next government.

It is very important for us to respond, to make sure our new PC Government understands Ontario expects serious climate change policy.

This consultation tells us they want our opinions, but they don’t want our names. The only way to participate is to do so anonymously on a web form.

Tips

Your submission does not need to be a scholarly work; you can write as much or as little as you’re comfortable with.  When filling in any kind of web form, it’s easiest to prepare your answer offline.  That way you won’t accidentally send it before you’re finished, and you can keep a copy of the submission you wrote.  It is always an excellent idea to make as much noise as we can publicly online.  If you have a blog, share it there and/or sharing on twitter or Facebook or whatever other social media you use.   Sharing online can inspire others to participate, and the greater the response the consultation gets, the better.  If you don’t have a place to share online, feel free to share your submission with us, and we’ll publish it here on the blog.

You might find inspiration in the  Rise For Climate Waterloo Region submission or suggestions made at the Federal Climate Change Consultation.  

About this consultation

Our quality of life depends on clean air to breathe, safe water to drink, and well-protected lands and parks.

Later this fall, Ontario will release a plan that will identify specific areas of focus to help us tackle and be more resilient to climate change.

This will be the first part of a broader approach that will protect clean air and water, encourage conservation and do more to address urban litter and waste.

This made-in-Ontario solution will strike the right balance between protecting our environment and responsibly supporting a prosperous economy.

Areas of focus

The plan will include several areas of focus, such as:

  • Creating an understanding of the effects that climate change is having on our households, businesses, communities and public infrastructure to better prepare and strengthen our resiliency.
  • Ensuring polluters are held accountable and creating dedicated measures that will efficiently reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Improving Ontario’s business climate by unlocking the power of the private sector to finance and drive innovative climate solutions. This will include an emissions-reduction fund to invest in technology-based and other solutions to reduce emissions in Ontario.
  • Finding a balanced solution that puts people first, makes life more affordable for families, and takes Ontario’s role in fighting climate change seriously.

These areas will help ensure our investments in climate action effectively balance greenhouse gas reductions while supporting economic prosperity and Ontario families.

https://www.ontario.ca/form/tell-us-your-ideas-climate-change?

⇒ Ontario Climate Consultation webform

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