Raise revenue for transit, modernize education, and create clean tech jobs

For Immediate Release
February 19, 2013

(Queen’s Park) – Ontario needs fresh ideas to tackle the economic, social and democratic deficits facing the province, as the Legislature emerges from a long hibernation.
“We need the parties at Queen’s Park to cooperate on putting an end to the use of prorogation for politically self-interested reasons,” says GPO leader Mike Schreiner while outlining the Green Party’s priorities for the spring session of Legislature. 
“We deserve better from our politicians. We deserve MPPs that put the public interest ahead of partisan political interest,” says Schreiner. “Instead of playing politics, Greens have sought common ground in offering to work with the new Premier on ways to create good jobs, a vibrant future for our kids, and safe, healthy neighbourhoods.”
The Green Party is looking for the Legislature to adopt the following priorities:
1. Improve our quality of life by funding transit and protecting food and water 
Gridlock is negatively affecting our economy and health. Paying for public transit, expanded GO service and safer streets will require new, dedicated sources of revenue. The Green Party wants an honest conversation: we can’t afford to let gridlock continue and we can’t afford to invest in solutions without dedicated revenue. 
Ontario is losing farmland at an unsustainable rate. We must close loopholes in legislation that fails to prioritize protecting local food and clean water.
2. Solve the education crisis by modernizing our school system
Ontario must resolve the crisis in education, where classroom disruptions, one-day strikes, and disrespect for the democratic rights of workers to bargain is the new normal.  Our kids, teachers and parents deserve better.
Ontario has now had an education crisis under successive NDP, Conservative and Liberal governments. Moving to one public school board will save over a billion dollars each year. Those savings can be reinvested where it matters most: in our schools, teachers and especially our kids. 
3. Create jobs with a green tax credit for emerging clean tech industries
Ontario must create jobs for the twenty-first century to replace the 300,000 manufacturing jobs lost in the last decade. A Green tax credit for entrepreneurs in the emerging global clean tech economy will ensure Ontario is investing in the future, not the past. Training programs and apprenticeship reform will help our youth access these new jobs. 
Emerging clean tech industries will transform our economy by improving productivity and innovation, creating jobs in a growing sector, addressing climate change and having a positive influence on the well being of our communities – a win for the economy and environment.
“A new legislative session is a great opportunity for renewal, yet we already see the old parties playing political games with the the PCs launching attack ads and the NDP setting a political trap with their call for an expensive public inquiry into the Liberal’s gas plant fiasco,” says Schreiner. “Let’s move beyond political games to work together on bold, new ideas that put the people of Ontario first.”