Two prominent environmental groups are calling on Quebec and Ontario to put an end to their dependence on oil.
On the same day Premier Jean Charest is to meet with Ontario Premier Dalton Mc-Guinty, Environmental Defence based in Toronto and Equiterre based in Montreal have placed a full-page ad in the Quebec daily Le Soleil calling on them to get the provinces off oil.
In a statement yesterday, they argue it is the only way to avoid such environmental catastrophes as the Gulf of Mexico leak by BP and to make a real green shift.
“Quebec and Ontario send tens of billions of dollars each year to oil companies in the U.S. Gulf and in the tar-sands when instead we could be creating jobs at home by getting off oil,” said Steven Guilbeault of
Equiterre.
“We call upon the Quebec and Ontario cabinets meeting today to commit to breaking the stranglehold that the oil companies have on people’s transportation choices.”
The advertising comes as the two provinces prepare for their annual joint cabinet meeting. The meeting, this year in Quebec City, kicks off this evening when McGuinty and Charest hold talks and a news conference.
Tomorrow, 20 cabinet ministers from both provinces meet for talks.
It is the third time the two provinces meet. On the first occasion, Quebec and Ontario chose to blast Ottawa over its climate change policies and announced plans to go ahead with a cap-and-trade system on major polluters despite federal opposition.
The meetings invariably attract lobby groups. In the ad, the groups note Denmark, Israel and other countries are making investments in such items as electric fleets.
“Why not us?” the ad says. “During your meeting, say No to oil.”
In the statement, Equiterre and Environmental Defence compliment Quebec and Ontario for their efforts so far and note Quebec has levied a fee on wholesale gasoline sales. Ontario has introduced a Green Energy Act. But neither has a comprehensive strategy to cut oil use.
“Quebec and Ontario … need to both follow on existing commitments on less polluting energy, and to make the new ones,” said Environmental Defence director-general Rick Smith.
The ad can be viewed at environmentaldefence.ca and equiterre.org