Budget prioritizes wasteful energy subsidies over Ontario kids

For Immediate Release

March 27, 2012

GPO Leader Mike Schreiner and Deputy Leader Judy Smith Torrie are calling on the Liberal government to put our kids’ future first by stopping subsidies that reward energy waste.

“It’s shameful that Ontario is borrowing a billion dollars to subsidize energy use, but we can’t find $90 million to provide low-income children an extra $100,” says Schreiner.  “This is a prime example of poor economic, social and environmental policy, driven by short-term thinking.”
The Liberal budget essentially admits their misleadingly named ‘Clean Energy Benefit,’ which costs $1.1 billion per year to subsidize electricity consumption, is unsustainable. The government placed a cap on the subsidy that is three times the average household use of electricity, saving only 11 percent of the cost.

The GPO is calling on the government to cancel the wasteful subsidy and use the money to fully fund the Ontario Child Benefit and to support energy efficiency programs to help homeowners, tenants and small businesses save money by saving energy.

“Budgets are about choices, and choosing energy consumption over our children is just wrong,” adds Smith Torrie.

The GPO continues to call for an efficient and fair balancing of the budget.  Schreiner and Smith Torrie praised the government for supporting the GPO’s call to cancel unsustainable corporate tax cuts, freeze public sector executive compensation and prioritize health care funding increases to community and home care settings.

The GPO is calling on the government to:

  • Eliminate costly duplication by merging the best of the Catholic and public school systems into a one French/English public system, instead of closing schools.
  • Commit 2% of the transportation budget for infrastructure to human powered mobility to improve community health.
  • Establish a public commission to reform Ontario’s tax system to stimulate job creation that strengthens our economy, community and environment.

“It’s time for politicians to stop punting problems to our kids,” says GPO leader Mike Schreiner.  “If there was a ever a time to have an adult conversation about energy waste, taxes and our outdated education system, it’s now.”