GUELPH – Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner demands Premier Doug Ford explain why his government used a well-known climate change denier as an expert witness to defend its climate plan in a landmark court case.
“Ontarians facing costly extreme weather events deserve a direct answer from Premier Ford on why his government is using a known climate denier to defend the government’s so-called climate plan,” said Schreiner.
“It’s wrong. And people deserve to know if the Premier believes we are facing a climate emergency. I think the government’s actions in court answer the question, but people deserve to hear it directly from their Premier.”
In Ontario Superior Court last week, seven young plaintiffs brought suit against the Ontario government, alleging that its climate plan fails to protect them and future generations.
One of the government’s expert witnesses in the case, William van Wijngaarden, disputes that greenhouse gas emissions are linked to extreme weather events such as floods, tornadoes and wildfires. He is part of a group called CO2 Coalition, which argues that more carbon dioxide emissions are good for the environment.
“Having a climate change denier testifying for our government as a climate expert is frankly embarrassing, but not unexpected,” said Schreiner.
“This is the same government that cancelled billions of dollars of renewable energy projects as soon as they took office. They wasted our tax dollars fighting the federal carbon tax all the way to the Supreme Court and watered down the previous government’s emissions targets. And it’s the same government that calls their own climate plan nothing more than a glossy brochure.
“They want to spend billions of dollars on highway projects that will supercharge sprawl and pump millions of tonnes of pollution into the atmosphere.
“Now the government of Canada’s largest province is going against the scientific community and lining up with fringe climate deniers. It’s shameful and dangerous.”