TheGreenHub.ca is publishing articles about green issues affecting the upcoming provincial election in Ontario, concentrating on candidates from Brant and Haldimand-Norfolk ridings.
Candidates have been asked to answer 10 green-specific questions. This is all being done through social media, through the internet, via e-mail.
The poll is a non-partisan one and we are publishing one answer daily, kept to 250 words or less, verbatim and unedited.
This is final installment, and also includes embedded links to the first nine questions and answers.
To recap, the candidates contacted are: Brant / Brian Van Tilborg (NDP), Dave Levac (Liberal), Ken Burns (Green), Michael St. Amant (PC); Haldimand-Norfolk / Greg Crone (Liberal), Ian Nichols (NDP), Justin Blake (Green) and Toby Barrett (PC).
All 10 questions have been answered. Each day’s posting will be tacked on the end of the main story, so that a complete compilation will be included.
We have also included some links to video and other online sources for each of the four major parties. That will be included at the bottom of the ongoing main story, as well.
(TheGreenHub.ca is a news and information website serving the area including Brantford, Six Nations, Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk counties, a provincially-designated area called The Green Energy Hub. We have had close to 100,000 visitors to the site since late 2010.)
Follow us on Twitter @the_green_hub and @TheHubman, Facebook at thegreenhub. For questions or comments, please contact Greg McMillan at email@example.com
Do you, or your party, acknowledge that the Ontario economy should be modernized through the development of new green technology, thereby creating jobs, increasing exports, encouraging alternative energy production through wind turbines, solar and geothermal installations? And do you, or your party, believe that such a green shift would, in turn, reduce pollution and help stem global warming?
If so, please explain with examples? If not, please also explain with examples.
Ken Burns / Green
“Yes, absolutely. We reject the false choice that is all too often made between the economy and the environment. The environment is the growth area for the economy. The Green Party envisions a future where Ontario builds on its diverse strengths to become a confident leader in the emerging low-carbon global economy.
Investments in energy efficiency programs not only create jobs in the Green Building sector, but help our businesses increase their productivity, operate more efficiently and be more competitive in the twenty-first century economy.
Our Green Building Program will create good, sustainable jobs in trades and construction, design, architecture, engineering, and building supplies in communities across the province. Demand from the program will foster innovation and new businesses in building design and green construction.
Putting a transparent price on carbon provides market incentives that spur innovation and entrepreneurialism and will help prepare our businesses to compete in the emerging low-carbon global economy. Carbon pricing is the most immediate, efficient and cost-effective approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Every dollar raised by pricing carbon will be returned to individuals and businesses through tax reductions.
$800 million will be invested in refundable business tax credits for businesses to invest in energy efficiency and building retrofits, with an additional $800 million for a retrofit program for home owners. We will also provide $150 million in refundable tax credits for investments in research and development in emerging sectors such as clean technology, green buildings, value-added manufacturing, renewable energy and knowledge-based services.
The Green Party’s plan rewards efficient use of resources. Our economic plan provides the right market incentives to reward people and businesses for efficient and sustainable practices.”
Dave Levac / Liberal
“The simple answer is yes. Plus, we have already proven by our legislation, regulations, grants, partnerships and trade missions that we are well on our way in moving to the front of the class. We cannot turn back nor stop the progress made to date. Becoming world leaders in green energy generation will allow us to export our expertise to the rest of the world and further enhance new job creation. We want to develop clean, renewable energy to reduce our carbon emissions and combat global warming. We want to reduce carbon emissions because they are toxic and have severe negative impacts on people’s health.”
Brian Van Tilborg / New Democrat
“ Yes, however it needs to be done in a way that does not ding the average consumer. The best way to promote green choices is to make them affordable and accessible. So while we would remove the HST off home heating and electricity, as well as lower it on gasoline we would also improve the home energy retro-fit program and increase access to public transit to reduce consumption. A green energy economy can’t be created off of the backs of already cash strapped Ontarians it has to be created with them by enacting policies that encourages green choices and affordable alternatives to pollution.”
Michael St. Amant / PC
Justin Blake / Green
Greg Crone / Liberal
Ian Nichols / New Democrat
“The Government has failed to stand up to polluters. It failed to make companies pay for the full cost of recycling and safely disposing their toxic and overpackaged products, instead allowing them to charge eco-fees to consumers or dump costs onto cash-strapped municipalities. The “Open For Business Act” removed the basic requirement for public notice and public input on many industrial activities that pollute the environment.
In our Plan for Affordable Change, we will not proceed with building new, expensive, dirty nuclear power plants. Ontario’s New Democrats will give priority to small, community-based energy projects developed by and for local communities – not big projects by profit-seeking corporations. Ontario’s public power generator, the OPG, will play the lead role on larger wind and solar projects, which would provide better information about projects and increase time and support for public consultation.”
Toby Barrett / PC
Key links and sources for Ontario Election 2011
TVO / Energy and the Ontario election
Interactive chart / The citizens’ agenda / Energy in Ontario
About Brant riding
Brant Green candidate Ken Burns supporting Green Energy Act
Brantford Expositor reporter Hugo Rodrigues Twitter compilation
Compiled by Greg McMillan of TheGreenHub.ca