Spring session slams the door to public input on modernizing schools, protecting environment

Queen’s Park – GPO leader Mike Schreiner accused the minority Liberal government of slamming the door to public consultation on environmental protections and a sensible solution to inefficiency and inequity in our school system.
The Greens have called for a public commission to examine merging the best of the Catholic and public education systems. Instead, the political establishment at Queen’s Park refuses to even discuss the issue.
“It’s wrong for the Liberal government to close the door in the face of school boards, parents and students who want to talk about modernizing our schools,” says GPO leader Mike Schreiner.  “Our Constitution is not a barrier to equality.  We cannot accept the Liberal’s plan to close schools and cut services while prohibiting a conversation about merging the Catholic and public school boards.”
The GPO has also slammed the Liberal government for burying changes to 69 acts, including eight environmentally significant laws affecting the Ministry of Natural Resources, in the omnibus budget, Bill 55.
“Changes to environmental protections have no place in a budget bill,” says Schreiner.  “Solving a financial deficit by creating an ecological one isn’t responsible management or good leadership. It’s time for the Liberals to do the right thing and address changes to environmental laws separately from the budget.”
The GPO is calling on the Liberals to remove changes to laws prescribed under the Environmental Bill of Rights from Bill 55 before final passage. Greens oppose using omnibus legislation to avoid the mandatory 30-day public comment period.
“Omnibus bills are tools of governments that think their power is more important than the people’s needs and the province’s priorities. Muzzling public input undermines democracy and weakens transparency and accountability,” says Schreiner.  “Closed door politics lead directly to scandals like ORNGE. The GPO will fight for more democracy and accountability, not less.”