For Immediate Release: February 28, 2011

 
Elected Officials Challenged: Come Clean! 
Radio Ads Begin in Southern Ontario
 
Toronto, ON – Environmental groups announced a new initiative today designed to hit back at the confusing anti-environmental rhetoric coming from Ontario’s elected officials. Radio ads, community organizing, and online work including a new website – comeclean.ca – are elements of the push.
 
“Ontarians want more clean energy jobs, cleaner air, protected greenspace, and safe water without toxic cosmetic pesticides,” said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director of Environmental Defence. “But our elected officials keep saying different things, creating confusion for citizens who are rightly alarmed at the prospect of losing these things.”
 
Comeclean.ca will help ordinary Ontarians get involved by asking their own questions to elected officials and demanding clear answers. It will track what elected officials are saying.
 
“An informed citizenry is the basis of a sound democracy,” said Gideon Foreman, Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. “And if elected officials won’t come clean by themselves, citizens will make them. Especially on issues of human health like dirty coal plants and toxic, cosmetic pesticides.”
 
A major confusion centres on renewable energy. This month, Ontario cracked 25,000 applications for clean energy installations like solar, and thousands of jobs have already been created. It is unclear whether elected officials are proposing to take these things away.
 
“Ontarians deserve to know whether the jobs that clean energy creates will go, and whether farm income from solar power will vanish,” said Kristopher Stevens, Executive Director of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association. “If elected officials want fewer new jobs and more dirty coal, they should come clean and say so.” 
 
Radio ads will focus on clean energy jobs, burning dirty coal, clean water and pesticides and the Greenbelt.
 
“From the far north to the Greenbelt, people deserve to know where elected officials stand on wilderness and greenspace protection,” said Janet Sumner, Executive Director of CPAWS Wildlands League. “If they want more sprawl in the Greenbelt, they should come clean.”
 
So far, Environmental Defence, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, Sierra Club Ontario and CPAWS Wildlands League are partners in comeclean.ca.
 
But its ultimate success will depend on ordinary Ontarians, eager for a real debate about the province’s future.
 
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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
 
Stephanie Kohls, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext. 232; 647-280-9521 (cell); skohls@environmentaldefence.ca
 
Gideon Forman, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, (416) 306-2273, gideon@cape.ca
 
Kristopher Stevens, Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, (416) 977-4441 ext. 42, kristopher@ontario-sea.org
 
Janet Sumner, CPAWS Wildlands League, (416) 971-9453 ext. 39, janet@wildlandsleague.org
 
Dan McDermott, Sierra Club Ontario, (416) 960-6075, dmcd@sierraclub.ca