Toronto – Blue Green Canada, a new partnership between Environmental Defence and the United Steelworkers union, is very pleased with the provisions of Ontario’s Green Energy Act, introduced today in Ontario’s Legislature.  The proposed Act, both organizations believe, could position Ontario as a leader in renewable energy on the international stage.
 “With President Obama talking about greening the economy, bringing jobs and investments in clean energy to the U.S., this Act is exactly what Ontario needs now to compete,” said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director, Environmental Defence.   Smith noted that the Act should serve as a significant generator of green investment in Ontario.
“The Steelworkers have been vocal in our call for domestic procurement policies. So including domestic content guidelines in the Green Energy Act is a decision in the right direction,” said Ken Neumann, National Director of the United Steelworkers union. “Creating demand for renewable energy, and then encouraging buy-local  for wind turbines and solar panels – this is a good way to create good new jobs in Ontario and meet our objectives to address climate change at the same time”.
The Blue Green Alliance in the United States, a partnership between United Steelworkers union and Sierra Club, was instrumental in bringing the international windmill manufacturer, Gamesa, to Pennsylvania creating thousands of new good jobs.  Last month, it sponsored a national “Green Jobs, Good Jobs” conference in Washington that attracted 2700 participants from across the U.S. and Canada.  “We believe that Blue Green Canada will make a difference,” said both Neumann and Smith.
Environmental Defence and the United Steelworkers have formed a partnership called Blue Green Canada to act as advocates to create good green jobs in a sustainable economy.
Environment Defence and the United Steelworkers are also members of the Green Energy Act Alliance (GEAA).
-30-
 
For more information:  Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext. 232; 647-280-9521 (cell) or Ken Neumann, United Steelworkers National Director for Canada, (416) 487-1571 or (416) 558-2510