Greens Call for Fair, Transparent, and Consistent Green Energy Development

The McGuinty government’s unfair backroom deal with multinational giant Samsung should be scrapped.We can create thousands of green jobs in Ontario with a fair, transparent and consistent process that provides a level playing field for all businesses, large and small.

The Liberals’ backroom deal with Samsung undermines the goal of fostering a prosperous 21st-century green economy by maintaining the 20-century branch plant mentality of special deals for multinational corporations. The Samsung deal undermines the transparent process envisioned in the Green Energy Act and throws Ontario energy producers and green manufacturers under the bus.

In talking with green business owners in Ontario, one thing is clear: there are solar and wind manufacturers ready to start building facilities in Ontario today – not in 2013 – to create green jobs and manufacture green products.

These Ontario companies do not need backroom deals. They simply want a system that is fair, transparent and predictable.

One business leader suggested they may build their new manufacturing facility outside Ontario because of the uncertainty the Samsung deal has created.

The Green Party of Ontario believes Ontario can become a leader in green energy and green jobs by administering a fair, transparent and predictable process with the feed-in tariff and by supporting our homegrown green energy sector.

The GPO’s energy plan is one that invests in Ontario. The GPO has long advocated a plan for green energy that supports Ontario entrepreneurs, co-operatives and communities, and provides the predictability needed to invest in green energy projects. Our plan supports community power projects where farmers, First Nations, co-ops, individuals, municipalities and businesses have equal access to the power grid. The GPO supports investments in smart grid technology to improve access to and efficiency of the grid.

The GPO also supports a transition fund to assist local manufacturers in converting to green products such as wind turbines and solar panels. As in Germany, such a plan should have simple, transparent and fair rules for all companies.

While I applaud the premier for saying the right words about understanding that green manufacturing and green energy will help power Ontario’s prosperity in the 21st-century, I simply don’t trust him to understand how to manage the transition to a green economy. His backroom deal with Samsung is proof of that.

The good news is that we are no longer debating whether to move forward with a green economy, but how.

It’s time for Green MPPs at Queens Park to ask the tough questions and offer sensible solutions for transitioning to a prosperous green economy.

Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner Denouncing Deal by McGuinty Liberals to Sign Unfair Energy Deal with Samsung

Green Party of Ontario Leader (GPO) Mike Schreiner is denouncing a deal by the McGuinty Liberals to sign an unfair energy deal with Samsung. The contract which gives a special price to a foreign multinational corporation flies in the face of the goals of the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, designed to create community energy projects by supporting municipalities, co-operatives, First Nations and farmers.

Ontario businesses and communities are losing out as the Liberals set aside over half the transmission capacity in Southern Ontario to Samsung, allowing a single company to jump the line and undermine community power initiatives. The deal has been widely criticized by Ontario producers and by members of the McGuinty cabinet and again shows a government without any real energy plan.

“After consulting with communities on the Green Energy Act and taking thousands of megawatts of bids for green energy projects, it is shocking that the Liberals would breech the trust of Ontarians with such a deal. The Green Party has a plan to invest in renewable energy and green jobs in Ontario by putting our communities first.”
– Mike Schreiner, Leader, GPO

“Rural Ontarians have been asking me when the Green Energy Act will support their communities. They are seeing foreign investments in their backyards without proper input, and a lack of transparency that has resulted in expensive energy deals.”
– Mike Schreiner, Leader, GPO

• The Green Party has been advocating for renewable energy in Ontario since the 1980s.
• The Green Party’s 2007 platform promoted a number of solutions to support green energy and green jobs in Ontario, many of which were adopted by the provincial government.
• The deal by Samsung undermines the feed-in tariff program which had been showing success.

Mariana Di Rezze

Green Party leader to visit Collingwood

Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner will be in Collingwood this Wednesday.

Schreiner will be part of the panel discussion for the Blue Mountain Watershed Trust presentation of the film Food Inc at the Gayety Theater on Wednesday. The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with special musical guest Jay Robinson. The film starts at 7:30 p.m. and the panel discussion, including industry specialists will follow. Organizers of the event say Food Inc is one of the most important films to be made about one of the most important subjects there is – what we eat.

Schreiner started his career in Toronto operating his own food distribution business for over 10 years that specialized in delivering local and natural foods to homes in Toronto.

He has been actively involved in the Green Party of Ontario (GPO) for the past six years, and was most recently the GPO candidate for the Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock by-election.

Schreiner is the first full-time leader in the party’s history and is traveling across Ontario. He lives in Toronto with his wife Sandy and his two daughters.

Tickets are $5. For more information call 444-2012.

Living Green

As I travelled across Ontario in 2009, meeting with people from all walks of life, and listening to their concerns and good ideas, I was reminded time and again that people in our province are ahead of their governments in living green every day. In fact, Ontarians are among the most aggressive adopters of new green technologies and smart economic ideas. We need governments – at all levels – to catch up.

As we begin 2010, I want to share some thoughts on five ways to go green this year.

1. Buy local. When was the last time you took a walk in your neighbourhood or town and visited local stores? Shopping at these businesses is a great way to foster strong, sustainable local economies. Farmers markets, bazaars and fairs are all excellent ways to support your neighbours. Ask store owners about their own local purchasing policies and the production practices used in the goods you are buying. Government can do the same with strong procurement policies that prioritize local sustainably-made products and food for Ontario’s public institutions.

2. Get involved in your community. There are countless ways to make your community better simply by volunteering a few hours each week. Connected communities are strong communities that promote individual and public well being and social bonds that encourage stewardship of our local resources. Government can help empower local communities by providing financial support for community organizations, recreation facilities, festivals and fairs and through better use of public buildings such as schools, as community hubs.

3. Walk more. Although it’s hard in this weather to permanently put the car keys aside, especially for those who live in rural areas, there are ways to reduce the kilometres you drive. Consider carpooling, public transit, walking or biking to work and combine your work and personal travel as much as possible to avoid multiple trips. Government needs to increase support for better quality public transit, safer streets and better planning so that people have other options to personal vehicle travel.

4. Produce less garbage. Make a serious effort to buy fewer packaged products, avoid disposable and toxic products, use reusable bags to carry items and support businesses that use sustainably produced and biodegradable materials. Government can join citizens in this effort by passing Extended Producer Responsibility laws that reward businesses that use minimal packaging, durable and reusable materials.

5. Reduce your home energy needs. Now is a great time to insulate your home and replace appliances and electronics with energy efficient models. You can take this a step further by installing solar, wind or geothermal home energy or by purchasing green energy through resellers such as Bullfrog Power. Although there are government rebate programs in place to help you finance such projects, we need an ambitious and comprehensive Green Building Program in Ontario to create jobs today that will save money tomorrow. production

All the best for a prosperous, Green 2010!

Mike Schreiner is the leader of the Green Party of Ontario.

CCKT pleased to see Green party fighting the peaker plant

By Bill Rea
The King Township Sentinel

Party Leader Mike Schreiner was on hand last Friday near the proposed site, along with several local farmers and representatives from the community, including Debbie Schaefer, chair of Concerned Citizens of King Township (CCKT).

“We need a political party that’s willing to speak out on this issue,” he declared.

Schaefer offered the CCKT membership an update of the issue at their general meeting in King City Thursday evening.

Things have been moving, she said, as she reported that Pristine Power Inc., the developer of the project and half owner of the facility to be known as York Energy Centre, has applied to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) for a licence to generate power. OEB has a window for questions to be received regarding the proposal, and she said CCKT is working to get their questions in by today (Wednesday).

Schaefer also reported Enbridge has applied for the licence to install the 16- kilometre pipe that will be connected to the complex. She said King City area resident Harvey Tenenbaum, who has worked in the industry, will be involved in the hearings.

Read more: http://www.kingsentinel.com/news/2009-12-16/News/CCKT_pleased_to_see_Gre…

Ontario Needs New Leadership To Lower Emissions

I attended the Environment Commissioner of Ontario (ECO)’s media conference on last Tuesday morning, which reported on the government’s lack of progress on reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

As the ECO highlighted, the government is frank in its admission that Ontario will not meet its 2014 or 2020 GHG targets. Particularly concerning, according to the ECO, is “the fact that GHG emissions are projected to rise between 2014 and 2020.”

The government’s admission of failure is particularly disturbing at a time when world leaders are meeting in Copenhagen to discuss this very topic. Compounding the problem is the lack of a plan from the McGuinty Liberals as to how the province will meet its targets.

It’s time for a strong Green voice to present solutions that address climate change, while promoting economic prosperity, sustainable communities and the health and well being of all Ontarians.

I believe this begins with a Green Tax Cut. It’s a simple idea: If you’re someone who lives green, as many already do, you’ll be rewarded with lower taxes. The Green Tax Cut will be a permanent incentive to go green – it is sustainable stimulus that will spur a wave of job creation in green technologies, products and services, finally placing them on a level playing field. We need to create incentives and reward individuals, business and communities for reducing GHG emissions.

The ECO outlined three critical sectors where better planning for GHG reductions are needed: buildings, transportation and industry. Combined these three sectors represent 73 percent of Ontario’s GHG emissions.

The building sector is where the government should focus its immediate attention. We need an aggressive Green Building Program in Ontario that creates jobs today in trades and construction that save money in terms of vastly increased energy efficiency tomorrow.

As the ECO notes, there is little or no action beyond hopeful speculation that a cap and trade system may eventually reduce industrial GHG emissions. In a high-energy-cost environment, the GPO believes the Green Tax Cut will provide industry with the incentives and rewards to become more efficient and reduce GHG emissions for economic as well as environmental reasons. In addition, Greens support a transition fund to assist the manufacturing sector to create tomorrow’s jobs today in the emerging green economy of the 21st century.

There are many other areas—such as investments in public transit and better development planning—that are needed to address GHG emissions. This government is at least a decade behind the GPO in putting forward bold plans to address climate change. We need action today.

With the proper policy incentives in place, reducing GHG emissions can be profitable and make Ontario’s economy more prosperous moving forward. It’s Time for a strong Green voice to push these policy changes.