Toronto and Montreal – Environmental groups today urged the governments of Ontario and Quebec to move forward on promises to clamp down on large polluters in the wake of a vote in California that saw citizens reject a ballot proposal to put that state’s climate efforts on hold. If the vote had succeeded, a North American push on large polluters that Ontario and Quebec are a part of – the Western Climate Initiative – may have stalled, since California is seen to be the anchor state in the effort.
“The oil industry failed to bamboozle California’s voters into rejecting the clean energy economy, and now Ontario and Quebec must join with the Golden State in implementing a crack down on polluters that we have talked about for far too long,” said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director for Environmental Defence.
 
A large majority of funding for the failed Californian ballot measure, called Proposition 23, came from the oil industry, including from companies that want to process ever increasing amounts of oil from the Alberta tar sands, a more polluting source of fuel than regular oil.
 
“People in Quebec and Ontario want to join Californians in being leaders in the next industrial revolution, the de-carbonizing of our economy,” said Steven Guilbeault, founding member of Équiterre. “Our governments need harness this desire by putting a price on carbon as soon as possible so that polluters have a tangible incentive to change their ways and to make money by going green.”
 
About Environmental Defence ( www.environmentaldefence.ca ): We are Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
 
About Équiterre ( www.equiterre.org ): Équiterre helps build a social movement by encouraging individuals, organizations and governments to make ecological and equitable choices, in a spirit of solidarity.
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For more information or to arrange interviews contact:
Erin Charter, Environmental Defence, 416.323.9521 X 258, or mobile 647-280-9521
Eveline Trudel-Fugère, Équiterre, 514-605-2000