TORONTO, ON (October 22nd, 2008) – Green Party of Ontario Leader Frank de Jong said today that the McGuinty government is failing to provide leadership and innovative solutions in this challenging economic time. The Green Party called for more support for small businesses and investment in the green job sector as a sustainable solution to improve Ontario’s economy.
“We need a more diversified economy to provide greater stability during tough economic times, and that means investing in Main Streets across this province,” said de Jong. Small and medium sized enterprises account for 60 percent of private sector employment.
A recent study by Canadian Policy Research Networks shows that 23.7 percent of young Canadians are underemployed, the worst showing across 19 OECD countries. “Generalized investments to stimulate the economy will likely lead to more McJobs and underemployment” says Shane Jolley Deputy Leader. “Now more than ever we need strong local economies with vibrant small businesses and local farms,”
The Green Party called on the government to maintain a balanced budget by ending unfair subsidies for large businesses and scaling back its plans for spending $40 billion on nuclear energy. “When the province is facing a deficit, it is irresponsible to spend taxpayer money on projects that are not needed and historically run over budget,” said de Jong. “Spending our tax dollars on nuclear is fiscally irresponsible when there are better options.”
“We can create thousands of jobs in Ontario in the green energy sector by reducing taxes for individuals and businesses, investing in energy conservation and demand management programs and rewarding businesses and home owners who reduce their consumption and invest in renewable energy,” stated Deputy Leader Judy Smith Torrie, citing a recent study that California’s energy efficiency policies created 1.5 million new jobs.
The Green Party challenged the government to mitigate the effects of the economic slow down by reducing personal income and business taxes; and, by creating incentives for investing in green infrastructure and energy efficiency. “We need to boost the manufacturing sector by making Ontario attractive to green technology research and development,” observed Smith Torrie. “Ontario has the manufacturing industry, the skilled and educated labour force, and the raw materials to become a global leader in green energy production.”
The Green Party of Ontario’s goal is to build a fair and just society in balance with nature that values the health and vitality of its families, local communities and economies. We strive to achieve this through sound fiscal management and progressive social policies. Our solutions acknowledge the interdependence of the economy and the environment. For more information visit www.gpo.ca.
GPO Communications Coordinator
416 220 9536
Deputy Leader, GPO
519 378 9604