London North Centre 2018 Results

London North Centre - Summary of Candidates:

Communist Party                       Clara Sorrenti

Conservative Party                    Susan Truppe   (Awaiting response)

Freedom Party                          Paul McKeever

Green Party                               Carol Dyck

Liberal Party                              Kate Graham

Libertarian Party                        Calvin McKay    (No contact info)

New Democratic Party (NDP)     Terence Kernaghan

 

Responses:

CLIMATE CHANGE

  1. If elected, what will you do to ensure Ontario meets its 2030 Paris Agreement commitments on climate change?

Communist Party  Clara Sorrenti

 

Replace cap-and-trade and carbon tax schemes with strict legal limits for pollution and emissions, especially from industrial sources, impose strong penalties for corporations who break the law, and increase investment for developing sustainable industrial processes.

Freedom Party 

Paul McKeever

Nothing.  Shifting wealth from one person to another - via taxes, levies, cap-and-trade etc. will not cool the climate, or stop climate change at all.  There is no technology currently known to have that ability. 

Green Party 

Carol Dyck

 

We must tackle climate change simultaneously on several fronts if we are going to be successful at meeting our Paris Agreement commitments -- greenhouse gas reduction (by industry, transportation), reduce energy waste (in the private and public sectors), transition to cleaner forms of energy, and mitigation policies (such as preserving and enhancing our green spaces).

We need a societal shift where climate change is not seen as a separate issue, but as a force that will affect every aspect of our lives -- the economy, agriculture, our health, public safety, our environment.

As MPP, I would work hard to ensure that consideration for climate change is incorporated into every Ministry and into policy action plans across the province. Only by incorporating a climate change lens across sectors can the province hope to meet its commitments under COP15. The time to act was decades ago when scientists alerted us to the problem; now we must move quickly to both mitigate climate change and adapt our cities and rural areas to alternate weather patterns.   

Specifically, the Green Party of Ontario supports a revenue-neutral carbon-fee-and-dividend system, whereby, a fee is levied at source on all goods and services that result in greenhouse gas pollution. In our energy sector, we must shift towards more clean, renewable sources, such as wind, solar and geothermal. In transportation, we must improve our mass transit system to encourage more use by citizens, move to electrical vehicles for public transportation, and encourage the use of hybrid and electrical vehicles by private citizens.    

In homes and in public and private buildings, we must find ways to support and encourage retrofitting and the construction of green buildings to conserve energy and reduce waste. This could include financing to undergo upgrades. We must create incentives for citizens to reduce their energy use (and particularly their energy) waste to help bring down our greenhouse gas emissions.  

Liberal Party 

Kate Graham

The evidence shows that the best way to responsibly fight climate change is by putting a price on carbon. Our cap on pollution is the best way to price carbon because it guarantees emission reductions at the cheapest price possible for people and the economy. Thus far, our program has raised $2.4 billion in proceeds in just over the last year. By law, every penny of those proceeds must be re-invested into programs that help reduce greenhouse gas pollution and help Ontario residents and businesses fight climate change.

New Democratic Party (NDP) 

Terence Kernaghan

Climate change is already changing our weather, our economy and impacting our daily lives. As Canada’s biggest province, Ontario has an important role in fighting climate change. We owe it to our planet and to the generations to come. 

The Environmental Commissioner has raised serious doubts about the government’s ability to meet its 2020 and 2030 greenhouse gas reduction targets. These doubts were reiterated by the federal and provincial auditors-general in their 2018 assessment of Canadian climate change initiatives. The government refused to consider NDP improvements to make the cap-and-trade system more fair, effective and transparent.

And Ford and the Conservatives' 'wild west'  approach is moving backwards on one of the most important issues facing Ontario’s economy  and environment.

 

FOOD WASTE

40% of food in Canada is wasted. What will you do to address food waste?

Communist Party  Clara Sorrenti

 

Restore $18 billion dollars in annual revenue by doubling the corporate tax rate and reversing tax cuts to the very wealthy. That way, large corporations will be forced to make smarter business decisions or else risk losing profit.

Freedom Party 

Paul McKeever

I will do what I always do: eat all of the food on my plate, and eat the left-overs as well, later.  Anything not eaten will be returned to Mother Earth, from which that food came.  She likes that.

Green Party

Carol Dyck

Food waste must be tackled at all stages of the food cycle, from production through to household consumption. Conventional food production requires many inputs -- energy, chemicals, water -- and reducing the waste would help drastically cut our carbon footprint and would help improve our water quality, and the health of our natural ecosystems. Canada’s food waste results in an alarming 21 million tonnes of greenhouse gases a year.

Firstly, we need to tackle policies which encourage farmers to plant more, apply more chemicals and pesticides, and ultimately deplete the soil of natural nutrients in a bid to grow a bumper crop. Bumper crops have less value, and products are often either dumped to keep prices high, or exported, flooding other markets with cheap, subsidized food. We should encourage quality over quantity.    

Secondly, a lot of waste occurs during transportation. By supporting small local farmers, organic farmers, and locally sourced goods for production of processed goods, we will not only add economic value to our famers’ goods, but we will also reduce the loss that occurs during shipping. As a bonus, locally grown foods likewise have greater nutritional value as they are harvested when they are ripe, rather than harvested early in preparation for shipment across great distances.   

Thirdly, we need to educate our society regarding food waste so that less waste occurs in the home. Canadian families waste hundreds of dollars a year purchasing food that ends up in the landfill. Ontario could update its food safety guidelines and educate its citizens regarding “best before” dates, or could work to shift perceptions regarding “cosmetically” perfect food, and offer tips and tricks to make food last longer, or tips for buying less, rather than purchasing large quantities simply because something is on sale.   

Fourthly, the government can and should support food recovery programs, like the London Food Coalition in our own city. Rescuing perfectly good food before it goes in the dumpster and redistributing it, helps feed those in need, saves significant sums of money and prevents the food from going to the landfill where it creates more greenhouse gases.   

At the core, Canada needs to have a national food policy, but in the absence of a national food policy, Ontario could enact a provincial food policy, addressing every element of food production, transportation and consumption. I would ensure that the provincial government starts talking more about food security and food waste. In particular, Ontario could look into the French model of reducing food waste, which recently made it illegal for supermarkets of a certain size to throw away food, while at the same time educating their children in schools about food sustainability.

Liberal Party 

Kate Graham

Last month we announced that Ontario is helping households and businesses reduce food and organic waste through its new Food and Organic Waste Framework.   

Key actions of the Food and Organic Waste Framework include:   

Reducing food waste from homes, businesses and institutions   

Setting targets of 50% and 70% for municipalities and businesses to reduce and recover their food and organic waste   

Expanding green bin collection of food and organic waste to more communities across the province.   

Expanding food and organic collection in apartment buildings, condos and other multi-unit residential buildings, as well as shopping centres, grocery stores, restaurants and public institutions   

The framework will also help reduce the need for new landfills in Ontario and cut greenhouse gas pollution.    In addition, Ontario is supporting Second Harvest in its efforts to expand a food rescue program that takes surplus food from supermarkets, restaurants, hotels and other vendors and redistributes it to local social service organizations. 

New Democratic Party (NDP)  Terence Kernaghan

Since 2008, food bank usage in Ontario increased overall by 6.9%. In Ontario, more than 595,000 households don’t have access to the food they need. 48% of First Nations adults living on-reserve in Ontario experience severe (14.5%) or moderate (33.1%) food insecurity. Toronto has become the child poverty capital of Canada, with the highest rate of low-income children among large urban centres. 

We live in one of the richest provinces in one of the richest countries in the world. These types of figures are simply unacceptable. A New Democrat government will develop a Provincial Food and Water Strategy, to promote health through access to healthy food, put public access to drinking water first, and strengthen the resilience of Ontario’s food systems. 

We’ll work with a range of groups including farmers, fishers, Indigenous people, inner city  organizers, entrepreneurs, public health leaders, academics, chefs, gardeners and others, and  will build on work by groups like Sustain Ontario. 

Together, we'll work to develop a food curriculum that will deliver culturally and regionally appropriate learning about growing and cooking food and a plan that protects our water and food lands and develop a provincial food and water policy that serves the public interest.  Our focus on putting food and water first will ensure that we protect our drinking water,  support our farmers, teach our children to make healthy food choices, and address income  inequality and persistent poverty in Ontario so that all families across the province have access  to nutritious food and clean drinking water

POLLINATOR HEALTH

The use of neonicotinoid pesticides is a leading cause in the decline of bee populations in Ontario and around the world. Would you support a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides and invest in identifying and promoting pollinator-friendly alternatives to pesticides for agriculture?

Communist Party  Clara Sorrenti

 

I would support a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides, invest in identifying alternatives, and work towards developing a publicly-owned green energy industry, and phasing out nuclear power.

Freedom Party 

Paul McKeever

I am in favour of regulations preventing demonstrable and unnecessary harm to plants and animals, balanced against the benefits of the things that have harmful side-effects.  The defence of every person's peaceful, rational pursuit of his or her own happiness is my goal and criterion.

 

 

Green Party 

Carol Dyck

I absolutely support a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides, as well as other harmful inputs used in conventional agriculture. I believe our environment and the quality of our food would benefit from a shift towards more low-intensity, diversified (i.e. less monoculture cropping) and/or organic agriculture that rewards farmers for supporting biodiversity on their lands.

Without a concerted effort on the part of governments (provincial, federal and even international) we will witness a collapse of our pollinators, with catastrophic consequences for food production and overall ecosystem health.

Therefore, we must promote more pollinator-friendly alternatives, and we must support small-scale local farmers, as well as promote urban agriculture and community gardens and food forests to ensure that we have biodiversity stepping stones for pollinator species, access to fresh local food for our citizens, and food literacy in our children.

Ontario’s cities would benefit immensely from urban agriculture -- a move that would help decrease the urban heat island effect, would aid us in adapting to climate change, and would mitigate climate change (through reduced transportation and freight). 

Liberal Party 

Kate Graham

The use of neonicotinoid pesticides is an issue we take very seriously. In 2015, Ontario became the first jurisdiction in North America to begin reducing the number of acres planted with neonicotinoid-coated corn and soybean seeds. We are working to reduce the number of farmers using these pesticides and creating accountability to ensure we are able to both accurately track and reduce the use of neonicotinoids.

New Democratic Party (NDP) 

Terence Kernaghan

The Ontario NDP support regulating neonicotinoids and protecting pollinators and farmers.  NDP Candidate and previous Agriculture Critic, John Vanthof, has 30 years of experience in crop and dairy farming.

He previously spoke in favour of a plan that works for pollinators and farmers: "[The] goal should be to have the most effective program to protect pollinators and farmers." http://hansardindex.ontla.on.ca/hansardeissue/41-1/l060.htm. But regulating neonics isn't a solution in itself. For too long Kathleen Wynne has pushed policies that squeeze out family farms and make operating more expensive for everyone. Liberals have failed to support local, sustainable family farmers, and have instead supported policies that favour large-scale, pesticide-dependent, export-oriented farms. 

What’s worse is Doug Ford’s plan to cut billions in services and programs which means programs that support agriculture, agri-science and rural areas would be on the chopping block of a Ford government.  New Democrats will protect farmland from developers and we will introduce an Ontario Food Strategy that ensures Ontarians can buy healthy, locally sourced food. We recognize that farming policy is not one-size-fits-all. An NDP government will work with all farmers as partners.

CYCLING

What will you do to support the development and implementation of local cycling infrastructure?

Communist Party  Clara Sorrenti

 

I would provide full and adequate provincial funding for municipal services, as well as abolishing the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) and replace it with local, democratic land-use and planning. This way, it will be easier to make democratic decisions in cities across Ontario.

Freedom Party 

Paul McKeever

I am opposed to reducing roadway access/width/lanes for automobiles, if that's what you are driving at.  I also oppose the BRT.  I have no plan to spend taxpayer money on bike lanes that come at the expense of automobile transportation.

Green Party 

Carol Dyck

We need to get more people on bicycles in our city. However, as long as people do not feel safe on the roads, we cannot expect to get more people onboard with cycling. I have friends who have suffered debilitating injuries here in London after being struck by cars as they cycled to work.

Therefore, I would like to see and would promote the construction of dedicated bike lanes, and in some areas, I would like to see dividers to protect cyclists from traffic.

Moreover, London could follow the steps of other cities, like Vancouver, where some residential streets have been turned into bike-only streets (excepting local traffic) to create a safe route to the downtown core that avoids congested and more dangerous roads.   

In conjunction with pressing for better cycling infrastructure, I would seek to forward a cycling awareness campaign that educates people on different aspects of cycling, from the health benefits of cycling to work over driving, to best practices for drivers when sharing the road with cyclists.  

Liberal Party 

Kate Graham

Active transportation is a priority for our government, and that is why we have invested $325,000 to support cycling in London through our $10 million Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure program.   

Through our $94 million Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program, we are providing $3,303,752 for London to build more bike lanes and other cycling infrastructure, or enhance existing infrastructure.

New Democratic Party (NDP) 

Terence Kernaghan

Ontarians are proud of our natural heritage. And we know our well-being -economic, social and physical - relies on the health of our environment. Under previous governments, transit has been squeezed. The last Conservative government cut the provincial government’s funding for municipal transit, and Kathleen Wynne refused to restore it. 

The NDP has long been a strong voice for both environmental sustainability and fairness. We believe the necessary transition to a green, low-carbon economy must be a fair one, so we don’t leave communities behind, and so all of us can realize the benefits.

The NDP will restore the province’s 50% share of funding for municipal transit operations - improving service and helping make fares affordable. We’ll build and expand transit to get Ontario moving smoothly. 

In addition to our transit commitments, the NDP will also fund cycling infrastructure that is safe for people of all ages and abilities, and set targets for increasing trips by foot or bike. Access to better transit and safe active transportation will mean less congestion, pollution and sprawl.  We will work to ensure all municipalities have active transportation plans - strategies for promoting walking, cycling, and other human-propelled transportation, by 2021. 

 

PLASTICS

Single use plastics, microfibers and microplastics are a critical pollution problem in our local waterways and lakes. What steps will you take to address this problem?

Communist Party  Clara Sorrenti

Legislate reductions in packaging for consumer items, and immediately cleanup poisoned Indigenous lands and water, compensating all families who are affected.

Freedom Party 

Paul McKeever

I am not an expert on the effectiveness of various methods of enforcing littering laws.  However, I am 100% in favour of people being able to buy and sell things - such as refridgerated, conveniently-obtained, e-coli-free, bottled water - in disposable containers. 

Green Party 

Carol Dyck

 

Single-use plastics, microfibres and microplastics are absolutely a critical pollution problem. It is only in the last century that we have become so dependent on plastics, but the results of this addiction are far-reaching and catastrophic. I believe that we can take a number of big steps to reduce the plastic waste clogging our waterways and lakes. I would like to see us follow the steps of cities like San Francisco, which is banning plastic bottles.

Plastic straws should no longer be available in restaurants; reusable options could replace them. Microbeads should be banned. Less plastic should be used in supermarkets for food packaging (i.e. two tomatoes plastic wrapped onto styrofoam), relying instead on more environmentally friendly, biodegradable options.

Ontario could likewise make some very dramatic changes, by returning to previous packaging. For instance, plastic bags for milk should no longer be permitted. Ideally, we would return to reusable glass jars. Educating the public on the perils of plastic could start in the school system, discouraging the use of juice boxes (with the little straw and plastic straw covering) and encouraging instead reusable drink containers.    

On a personal level, I would like to see less balloons. Balloons are an absolute hazard for marine life, frequently ingested by species. Perhaps one day we could work towards banning balloons along with straws, plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic cutlery etc. 

Liberal Party 

Kate Graham

In the 2018 budget, we committed $52 million to fund Great Lakes protection measures to ensure that our Great Lakes remain swimmable, fishable, and drinkable for all Ontarians. This funding includes investing in new technologies to address excessive algae, toxic chemicals, microplastics, and road salt, as well as enhancing real-time monitoring and research around the Great Lakes.   

We have also invested in the water and wastewater infrastructure of every single municipality and First Nation in Ontario, supporting over 1,300 projects through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF).    London has received over $10.1 million in provincial funding through the CWWF to maintain water and wastewater infrastructure. 

New Democratic Party (NDP) 

Terence Kernaghan

Ontario is blessed with great wealth and fresh water. Yet our food and water systems are at risk. It’s time our provincial government brought everyone to the table, and stood up together for Ontario’s water. 

The NDP has long recognized the threat improper waste diversion has on our treasured watercourses. Current NDP Candidate and former Critic for Environment and Climate Change Peter Tabuns has addressed the legislature on the issue of waste diversion, and criticized the Liberal Government for their slow timeline in introducing individual producer responsibility.  "We’re in bad shape in Ontario when it comes to waste diversion. I don’t think there’s any argument on that. We need action on this issue."   "We need to be taking substantial action to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, to reduce our waste production. We need to have waste diversion numbers that will eliminate the need for new landfills in this province. There’s no question that we need to act on this issue and there’s no question that we’ve needed to act for a long time"  "We support the idea that the producer is responsible for the full life cycle of the product.  That’s extended producer responsibility. The producer of a product must internalize the full cost of their product’s life cycle."  http://hansardindex.ontla.on.ca/hansardeissue/41-1/l137.htm

We believe water is a public trust, and an Ontario Water Strategy will prioritize planning for water needs now and for future generations based on the public interest and sustainable public access to water. The Ontario Water Strategy will be based on the principle that the public should have access to water for drinking, sanitation and food; ensuring that communities have the water needed for planned sustainable growth. The strategy will create an inventory of water use and return across the province and will prioritize sustainable long-term water use planning.

 

HABITAT & SPECIES AT RISK

There are well over 200 species at risk in Ontario, a number that is growing every year and includes once-common species like Barn Swallow and Monarch butterfly. What plan (or policy) will you develop and implement to protect species at risk?

Communist Party  Clara Sorrenti

 

Reject all tar sands-related pipeline projects and halt all fracking operations.    Replace cap-and-trade and carbon tax schemes with strict legal limits and strong penalties for pollution and emissions.

Freedom Party 

Paul McKeever

None.  When it comes to land use, human use and enjoyment is my first priority.  When Barn Swallows vote, write treatises on environmentalism, and pay taxes, maybe I'll reconsider.

Green Party 

Carol Dyck

Biodiversity conservation is a passion of mine, and an area in which I have focused my studies and my work. I would like to see Ontario (and Canada) meet the Aichi Target 11 of protecting 17 percent of terrestrial areas and 10 percent of marine and coastal areas by 2020.

Unfortunately, our province is a long way from meeting that target, currently sitting at about 11 percent of terrestrial area protected.    But, the province must also do more to protect our biodiversity outside of reserves. As our population grows and demand for resources, infrastructure projects, housing etc increases, development projects will regularly come into conflict with our green spaces.

Often economic considerations win out over the environment. Southern Ontario, for instance, has lost over 70 percent of its wetlands, highly productive areas that are biodiversity hotspots as well as being fundamental ecosystems for filtering our water and mitigating against climate change. And though wetlands are afforded protection under both the Provincial Policy Statement and The London Plan, local wetlands are still filled-in, relocated and/or disturbed to make room for new commerce or housing ventures.    I would work to make sure that our provincial policies have clearer guidelines for protecting biodiversity outside of reserves.

Action plans should include considerations for climate change, which will undoubtedly change the species composition of our landscapes, as plant and animal species migrate to find more suitable habitat. I would like to ensure that the province takes a more holistic approach to biodiversity conservation, including in its policies more actions to expand corridors and stepping stones of biodiversity, particularly on agricultural land and in our urban areas. Such policies would include but not be limited to: promotion of green roofs and garden walls on public buildings; expansion of urban (community) gardens; encouraging citizens to plant native trees, shrubs and groundcovers; moving away from “tidy” lawns to hasten the return of beneficial species and pollinators; putting more funds and work into removing invasive species; ceasing the practice of municipalities planting invasive, non-native species; encouraging school boards to plant pollinator gardens and native tree species on their grounds (with the dual purpose of providing valuable nature-based education experiences for children while boosting biodiversity); discouraging the use of pesticides - I could literally go on forever on this section. There is so much more our province could do to conserve our biodiversity and restore our ecosystems. 

Liberal Party 

Kate Graham

The Endangered Species Act prohibits the harm and harassment of protected species and damage or destruction to their habitat. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) will begin providing public updates on progress made in developing recovery strategies for dozens of at-risk species.  

The quarterly updates will be made publicly available on the Ontario.ca website and will provide information on progress towards developing recovery strategies for 37 at-risk species, including the northern bobwhite, black redhorse, gypsy cuckoo bumble bee, Kentucky coffee-tree, and other mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, and plants.  Additionally, $15 million will be invested from 2017-2020 to support biodiversity in Ontario's wetlands, rivers, and lakes.

New Democratic Party (NDP) 

Terence Kernaghan

Ontario continues to pave over protected wetlands and prime farmland while putting drinking water sources at risk because the government refuses to enforce its own land use policies, allowing sprawl to continue. And this government has failed to protect species at risk in Ontario.

Previous Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources, Kathryn McGarry, was even sued by environmental groups for failing to issue recovery strategies for 37 species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Additionally, for the past 20 years, Conservative and Liberal governments have failed to meaningfully update the Environmental Bill of Rights to keep it relevant and effective. 

Andrea Horwath and the NDP have pledged to protect more of Ontario’s wild spaces, by expanding existing parks and creating new ones in consultation with First Nations. We will end the loss of provincially significant wetlands, which are crucial in preventing and limiting floods, and begin to reverse it.  We will update the Environmental Bill of Rights for the first time since the NDP introduced it more than two decades ago, to restore accountability, transparency, and public participation whenever the environment is affected.


Other Environmental Issues?

Do you have anything else you’d like to share?

Communist Party 

Clara Sorrenti

 

We will fight to recognize Indigenous self-government and self-determination up to and including stopping all corporate, private, and public development on lands with Indigenous claims and immediately cleaning up poisoned Indigenous lands and water, compensating all families who have been affected.

Freedom Party 

Paul McKeever

Yes.  Given my answers to your survey questions, I think you can at this point feel confident that I'll not lie to you or your network. I am running on Freedom Party's 2018 election platform, which is available at http://www.freedomparty.on.ca/platform/platform-toc.htm. 

Green Party 

Carol Dyck

Environmental issues are something I am very passionate about. Since I was very young, I looked up to people like Jane Goodall, Berute Galdikas and Gerald Durrell. I have devoted my graduate studies exclusively to learning each aspect of environmental problems, as they cross every sector of our lives. I have a Masters of Arts degree in International Environmental Policy, a Masters of Law in Environmental Law, and a Master’s of Science in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management.

In addition, I supplemented my studies with courses in macro and micro economics, natural resources economics, and trade and the environment. I believe that only by adopting a multidisciplinary approach, can we be truly successful in both understanding and tackling our most pressing environmental crises.

 

In m day-to-day life I try to minimize my environmental footprint, and I volunteer my time regularly to effect real change in our local community. However, I aspire to realize greater changes in our provincial and national policies so that Ontario and Canada can be real leaders in climate change mitigation, water protection, and biodiversity conservation.

Liberal Party 

Kate Graham

We know how important it is to protect the environment for Ontario families, and know that this is an important issue for Londoners.

New Democratic Party (NDP) 

Terence Kernaghan

Thank you for your questions. The New Democrat vision for fighting climate change includes carbon pricing, aggressive energy, water and land conservation and renewable energy. It is all based on the idea that our province must make a “Just Transition” to a green future where nobody is left behind.

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