Speak out for changes in the Ontario budget

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Our Green voices continue to make a difference.

The GPO now asks you to speak out on behalf of three important changes to the Liberal budget — changes that will make Ontario a fairer and more sustainable province.

Stop Borrowing Billions to Subsidize Wasteful Energy Consumption

The GPO believes it is poor economic, social, and environmental policy to spend money to subsidize wasteful energy consumption, while freezing programs that support our most vulnerable children and families.

The GPO is calling on the government to cancel the misleadingly named Clean Energy Benefit, which supports the wasteful consumption of electricity, clean or dirty. This would save $975 million. Here’s how we’d advise investing those savings, while still balancing the budget:

  • $220 million for an energy rebate program targeted to lower-income families and seniors.
  • $600 million for a job creating energy-efficiency building retrofit program to help homeowners, tenants and small businesses save money by saving energy.
  • $90 million to fund a full increase in the Ontario Child Benefit.
  • $65 million to avoid freezing social assistance rates.

You can speak out on this issue by writing a letter to Finance Minister Duncan and Premier McGuinty.  See here for a sample letter.

Don’t Bury Legislation that Threatens Environmental Protections in an Omnibus Budget Bill

The budget bill (Bill 55) proposes changes to 69 Acts, including eight environmentally significant laws affecting the Ministry of Natural Resources. These laws are prescribed under the Environmental Bill of Rights and should be posted on the Environmental Registry for a 30 day public comment period.

The GPO believes it is wrong to use the budget bill to avoid posting these laws on the Environmental Registry for public comment. This lack of transparency and public accountability is not right.  

We’re calling on the government to remove all references to amendments to Acts administered under the Environmental Bill of Rights from Bill 55. We deserve the right for public comment on legislation that protects our communities and our natural heritage for ourselves and future generations.

You can speak out on this issue by writing a letter to the Minister Michael Gravelle and the Premier. See here for a sample letter.

Don’t Close Schools Before Public Hearings on Moving to One School System

The GPO believes there’s a better solution to closing schools and blocking students who need a fifth year to get help.

The Liberal government should do the obvious — eliminate massive and costly duplication by merging the best of the Catholic and public school systems into one French/English public system. The result benefits everyone —a high quality, financially responsible, and equitable education system.

According to the Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods of Ontario, the province could save between $1.3 billion and $1.6 billion by merging the Catholic and public school systems.

The GPO is calling on the government to establish a Citizen’s Assembly or Public Commission to study how the public and separate school systems could be combined and how education could be improved by reinvesting savings resulting from such a merger.

You can speak out on this issue by writing a letter to the Minister Laurel Broten and the Premier. See here for a sample letter.