Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Huron-Wendat –
Keith Brooks, Programs Director:
Ontario continues to talk up its “Clean Energy Advantage” though the province is planning to build new gas plants and increase our reliance on gas, making the electricity grid dirtier. This is working at cross-purposes with the goal of attracting more clean energy manufacturing and at odds with the federal government’s commitment to a 100 per cent clean electricity sector by 2035. Ontario’s commitment to gas will prove to be a costly mistake, hurting taxpayers who will be on the hook for paying for gas plants that cannot operate due to their carbon emissions and due to missed economic opportunities thanks to an increasingly dirty grid.
No one, including businesses, should be fooled by Ontario’s “clean energy credit registry.” It will not increase clean energy generation in any way. It’s a shell game with nothing under any of the shells.
Nate Wallace, Clean Transportation Program Manager:
Public transit systems across the province have been crying out for operating funding support to stave off steep fare hikes and deep cuts to service that would lead to a vicious death spiral. A transit death spiral will make cities more congested, increase carbon emissions and have the greatest impact on society’s most vulnerable. With no transit operating funding in this budget, Ontario has set the stage for a public transit catastrophe. The federal government must now intervene to save public transit in Ontario, before it is too late.
Phil Pothen, Ontario Environment Program Manager:
It is disappointing to see that the Ontario government continues to pay lip service to tackling “gridlock” while throwing away public money on discredited highway and sprawl schemes it knows will make motor vehicle traffic – and the resultant greenhouse gas emissions – far worse. The government’s Highway 413, Holland Marsh Highway (a.k.a. Bradford Bypass) and 401 widening schemes, in particular, are nothing more than public subsidies for car-dependent sprawl in Caledon, East Gwillimbury and the outer reaches of Durham that will destroy vast swathes of farmland and habitat.
While we are relieved to see that the Ontario government has not fully abandoned plans for Transit Oriented Development around major transit stations, its refusal to commit to any significant increase in funding for infrastructure like new and expanded schools (beyond what was allocated in previous budgets) casts doubt on whether it actually intends or expects to see much-needed densification happen. It seems calculated to provoke opposition to the new housing in existing neighborhoods that we desperately need to curb sprawl.
ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.
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