Statement from Mike Schreiner, Leader of the Green Party of Ontario
Today’s Speech from the Throne highlights the listening and engagement deficit in Ontario politics. The Liberal minority government must chart a course of cooperation with other parties and the public to tackle the major economic and environmental challenges we face.
The government must commit to engaging communities in decisions around energy projects. With proper community consultation, we could have avoided the billions of taxpayer dollars wasted on cancelling projects that shouldn’t have been started in the first place, as in the cases of the Oakville and Mississauga power plants.
The government’s focus on jobs is welcome, but it doesn’t fit with the current Feed-in-Tariff review which is killing jobs and local businesses. Action is required to prevent unnecessary bankruptcies and job losses in the growing Green energy sector.
It’s also unfortunate that the government didn’t mention one of the best net job creators, investments in energy efficient retrofits for homes and buildings
The Green Party supports the government’s call for a Great Lakes Protection Act. However, we are disappointed that there was no mention of the biggest threat to water quality in Ontario–the Melancthon mega-quarry. The Green Party is calling on the government to prioritize protection of our water and farmland, and move immediately on to close the loopholes that allow projects like the mega-quarry to proceed.
The Green Party supports efforts to reduce Ontario’s deficit. We are disappointed that the government will not reconsider tax cuts on the largest corporate profits in addition to spending restraint. All Ontarians must contribute to deficit reduction.
At a time when the province is facing an uncertain economy and a record deficit, the Green Party is calling for sustainable, low-cost programs that create jobs, eliminate waste and preserve our natural heritage. We are committed to working cooperatively with all parties and all Ontarians to achieve these objectives and improve our quality of life.