London West 2018 Results

London West - Summary of Candidates:

Conservative Party                    Andrew Lawton              (Awaiting response)

Green Party                               Pamela Reid

Liberal Party                              Jonathan Hughes          

Libertarian Party                        Jacques Boudreau        (No contact info)

New Democratic Party (NDP)     Peggy Sattler

 

Responses:

CLIMATE CHANGE

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

Green Party 

Pamela Reid

 

The Green Vision to reduce GHGs:  Put a price on Greenhouse Gas pollution    Transition Ontario to a revenue-neutral carbon fee-and-dividend system. Under this approach, a fee is levied at source on all goods and services that result in greenhouse gas pollution. Return all pollution tax revenue to citizens’ bank accounts. The more you conserve the more cash for you and your family.  Create jobs and reduce pollution with green buildings and infrastructure   

Improve and expand Ontario’s home energy savings program to provide grants and other incentives for individuals and communities to improve the energy efficiency of buildings to help businesses, homeowners and renters make money by saving energy. This will include retrofits to improve insulation, and installing more energy efficient heating and cooling systems.      

Increase the HST rebate allowance on new homes that are net zero, and establish a Green Mortgage program where mortgage default risk is protected by the province to ensure that mortgage providers can offer ultra-low interest mortgages for energy efficient homes. Set aggressive GHG targets for provincial government operations and expand reduction programs to include hospitals, schools, universities and other public institutions.     

Ensure free energy labelling for all residential and commercial buildings. No home buyer should be left in the dark about energy costs on one of their biggest purchases.     

Work with utilities to create effective building upgrade programs and make  them widely available, including financing and incentives for “green heat” sources like geothermal, solar thermal, waste heat recovery, air source heat pumps and lake water heating and cooling. Accelerate the targets for net zero buildings and revise the Ontario Building Code to mandate that all new buildings meet net zero standards.     

Initiate a regulatory review to identify and set appropriate safety and energy efficiency targets for new commercial buildings, such as glass-walled condo towers, which are wasteful users of energy.   

Change the definition of public infrastructure to incorporate green infrastructure, and capture opportunities to incorporate green infrastructure into existing legislation, policy and programs.  Create a dedicated funding stream for green infrastructure within existing infrastructure funding.  Phase out funding for infrastructure that relies on fossil fuels and increases Ontario’s GHG emissions.   Provide new carbon-free educational grants for students that want to be part of the carbon-free sector. 

Electrify our transportation system. Set a target date for phasing out internal combustion engines in Ontario so that Ontario can meet a carbon neutral target by 2050. As an interim measure, raise the average fuel economy emission standards for all cars and trucks to encourage the market for more fuel efficient and less polluting vehicles. Support fleet electrification with funding for the public and private sector to purchase electric vehicles, install charging facilities and share their implementation know-how with each other to make Ontario the leading electric vehicle jurisdiction in the world.   

Support the purchase of electric vehicles through a rebate program for purchasing electric vehicles with a cap on the vehicle purchase price, eliminating HST on zero emission vehicles, and providing free overnight vehicle charging for residential customers. Encourage the development of supportive infrastructure for electric vehicles across the province by moving towards installing charging stations at all public buildings, ensuring municipalities identify and remove barriers to their adoption, fund charging stations, and requiring condominiums to provide facilities that allow residents to plug in electric vehicles.  Support rapid electrification plans for all transit systems. 

Add more charging stations along 400 series highways as quickly as possible.  Invest in our own new low carbon economy. Reorient business development grants to provide funding incentives for businesses to innovate and invest in low carbon equipment, products, and processes (see Jobs section for more information on how Ontario businesses and workers will benefit from the low carbon economy).     

Redirect existing business support programs to target the scale up of cleantech companies and innovation. Change the criteria of business development programs to eliminate supports for proposals that contribute to an increase in Ontario’s greenhouse gas pollution. Review government regulations to ensure the regulatory environment does not create barriers to the adoption of green technologies, practices and businesses.      Provide startup grants for Northern Ontario and First Nations communities to initiate and create their own renewable projects, build water purification systems and grow food year round in their communities.      

Support public funding of and tax credits for research and development in order to incubate innovation, particularly in clean technology and knowledge services.     Set, review and report on five year targets to reduce fossil fuel consumption to put Ontario on a path to becoming carbon neutral by 2050.    

Give incentives for the production of renewable natural gas from organic waste and other renewable sources such as ammonia to be transported in existing natural gas pipelines and used to power government fleet vehicles like garbage trucks and public buses. This will reduce reliance on piped, fracked or shipped natural gas. Establish low-carbon content requirements for natural gas distribution.  Store carbon in nature Support Forest Ontario’s tree planting goals and expand the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program to reward landowners for planting trees.      

Reward sustainable forestry and land management practices that protect the Boreal forest with an emphasis on maximizing the forest’s ability to store carbon.      Reverse the government’s decision to close the Ontario Tree Seed Plant.       Develop policy on forest carbon management and/or carbon offset projects for the forestry sector while exploring the potential benefits with Indigenous peoples.       Create incentives to reward landowners for increasing the organic content of their soil and for sequestering carbon.

Support research to improve soil health, including developing accurate and consistent quantification methods. Implement stronger protections for wetlands, grasslands and woodlots.  Reward farmers for stewardship practices that provide environmental and community benefits such as clean water, habitat preservation, and soil health and carbon storage. 

Recognize and address the importance of protecting the vast intact carbon storehouse of Ontario’s Far North in land-use plans for the region.  Ensure that green infrastructure projects, such as urban forests, qualify for provincial infrastructure funding.  Help communities adapt to climate change     

Fund municipal efforts to proactively manage green infrastructure as assets through research and sharing of best practices.  Conduct province-wide risk assessment on extreme weather event impacts including flooding, tornados, heat waves and ice storms. 

Create a dedicated fund for Ontario municipalities to be used exclusively toward investments in municipal infrastructure.  Provide new funding for MARS (Municipal Adaptation & Resiliency Service) available for all cities of the Great Lakes and St Lawrence Basin. 

Host a yearly summit on municipal adaptation best practices with neighboring states and provinces.  Develop a one-window central repository for climate data including localized climate projections and provincially adopted future climate data sets.  Mandate permeable pavement on all new parking spaces to reduce flooding from storm runoff.    Strategy: Develop a Clean and Affordable Electricity System     Our electricity bills keep going up - and there’s no relief in sight.    

Ontario’s current electricity system is unsustainable. Yet instead of real change, the only solution offered by the status quo parties is to borrow billions of dollars - billions that we and our children will have to pay back - to maintain the crumbling system we have.   

The status quo parties want to increase your electricity bill and borrow billions to rebuild outdated nuclear plants. They refuse to do an independent public review of the costs of power sources before spending billions.     No nuclear project in Ontario’s history has delivered on budget or on time. Nuclear power plants use outdated technology and need of constant, expensive maintenance.  Nuclear locks us into an old, centralized system that limits opportunities for taking advantage of new low cost opportunities.    A better plan is to purchase low cost water power instead of high cost nuclear power. We can reduce demand for new power sources by helping people save energy and money. And we can tap into the clean energy technology to modernize and economize our system.     Ontario can win big by becoming a leader in the clean energy economy. We can create jobs and make our energy system work for people, not big energy.     Without this bold vision for change, our electricity bills will keep rising.     Let’s leap into the future now.    

The Green Vision for clean, affordable electricity:  Stop pouring money down the nuclear drain. Conduct an independent review of costs, benefits and alternatives of all forms of electricity generation including the costs of building infrastructure and dealing with waste products, and make the results public.      Say no to the electricity price increases requested by Ontario Power Generation to finance the multi-billion price tag of rebuilding the Darlington nuclear station. Place a moratorium on rebuilding any nuclear plant until an independent public review of costs and alternatives is conducted.       

Shut down the Pickering Nuclear Power Station when its operating license expires in August 2018. Immediately starting to decommission and deconstruct the plant will create 16,000 jobs and save up to $1.2 billion. Decommissioning and dismantling it could create 32,000 person-years of direct and indirect employment between now and 2030.   

Avoid having Ontario’s nuclear plants become expensive stranded assets by keeping the existing stations at Bruce nuclear and Darlington nuclear to the end of their current operating lives without spending additional dollars to rebuild them.  

Support renewable energy generation. Set a target and develop a Long-term Energy Plan for Ontario to be powered with 100% renewable energy, which includes a plan for an energy supply mix that enables Ontario to achieve its greenhouse gas targets and create local jobs.   

Work with local communities, provide incentives for small renewable energy projects (wind, solar, heating, storage, electric mobility, and micro-hydro), to reduce overall demand and increase local energy security and community benefits. Provide community-based renewable energy projects, initiated by non-profit groups, cooperatives and municipalities, with reliable know-how and long-term zero interest loans.  Support renewable energy projects initiated by Indigenous communities and ensure meaningful Indigenous participation in the development of renewable energy projects.     

Import green hydro power from neighbouring provinces. Hydro Quebec has offered to sell power to Ontario at 5 cents per kWh - a much better deal than the 16.5 cents per kWh that Ontario Power Generation wants for nuclear power. This would save Ontario more than $12 billion over the next 20 years. We can also start negotiations with Manitoba Hydro to build a new hydro storage and wind powered grid.  Provide incentives to help homeowners, renters and businesses convert natural gas, electric, oil, and propane heating systems to more efficient, affordable and low carbon sources such as heat pumps and geothermal. Increase conservation and efficiency     

Engage with municipalities, co-ops, Indigenous communities, electric and gas utilities, energy-efficient appliance and equipment manufacturers and distributors and other corporations, to pursue all cost effective energy conservation and efficiency options that can meet our electricity needs. Cancel programs that subsidize electricity rates for upper income consumers, while keeping targeted relief programs for those who need them.  Aggressively pursue the development of a smart grid, which will modernize and streamline Ontario’s electricity generation and distribution system, making it more efficient, lower in GHG emissions, and ready to take advantage of cutting-edge technology. Prioritize investments in reducing demand through energy efficiency and conservation efforts before turning to new sources of generation as the lowest cost and most effective way to achieve a 100% renewable energy goal.  Provide support for municipalities to develop and implement community energy plans.      

Ensure all publicly funded provincial institutions in Ontario adopt a prioritization strategy for a “cleaner, leaner, greener” approach to energy, especially reducing the use of fossil fuels. Establish a green revolving fund to use savings from energy conservation to invest in additional GHG reduction efforts. Establish public reporting requirements for all publicly funded provincial institutions to be accountable for the energy they use.     

Introduce educational funds for learning by doing, allowing colleges and universities to build their own renewable energy and electric vehicle charging facilities and use them to make money, lower bills, and to create practical living laboratories for their students and teachers. 

Strategy: Move People and Freight More Efficiently    Ontario’s transportation system doesn’t work for people or planet. Traffic congestion in the GTA alone costs our economy $11 billion a year in lost productivity. Transportation accounts for 35% of Ontario’s greenhouse gas emissions, the largest and fastest growing share of emissions from any sector and a large contributor to air pollution. Better transportation networks are also an economic bonus, supporting small businesses and increasing the efficient flow of people, goods and resources. Liveable communities foster thriving main street economies. Our plan starts with better land use planning, re-designing roads and streets with the safety and convenience of all road users - drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users. This also means new strategies for moving goods as well, such as using central depots and more efficient vehicles to bring parcel deliveries to a final destination into denser neighbourhoods. We need to scale up investments in public transit, and we need to be honest about how we are paying for this. Transit decisions need to base on data and science and removed from political interference that can lead to costly decisions. It is essential that Ontario make transit affordable and reliable. We can start by restoring operational support to local transit, and implementing an integrated transit plan in the GTHA and beyond. We must rapidly electrify passenger rail service and expand all day two-way GO service on all lines. Rolling out bus service on underserved routes is needed now.   Let’s get moving.       The Green Vision for efficient transportation:    Create stronger transportation links, transit and street infrastructure   Establish transparent, expert-recognized standard methods for making transit investment decisions and publicly share business case analyses and all associated assumptions and data.     

Study best practices to better coordinate transit systems between municipalities, including establishing regional authorities. Harmonize regional transit into a single pay user system.  Ensure urban rapid transit projects feature effective integration with local transit services. Require urban rapid transit projects to plan for density around each subway/LRT stop, such as retail stores and residential buildings, instead of parking lots.   Prioritize low-cost high-performance rail in the short-term as the province plans long-term for higher-cost, high-speed rail projects.  Provide permanent operational funding support for municipal transit services in order to reduce fare increases for users, as well as funding for cycling and walking infrastructure.  Work with rural municipalities to explore the feasibility of licensed private local transit services in low density communities where public transit service is not available.   

Restore Ontario Northland Railroad service as critical core infrastructure for the entire economy of Northern Ontario.   Immediately improve intercity bus services, especially in underserved areas.   Electrify GO train services as quickly as possible, and replace bus service with electric and hybrid buses where feasible.   Increase the number of people accessing GO stations without private automobiles by providing safe and convenient pedestrian access, providing improved cycling facilities and bike share stations, and facilitating car-pooling.  Explore all public and private options for regional train services in underserviced areas.   Establish a Complete Streets Act, which would require streets across Ontario to be planned, designed, operated, and maintained to enable safe, convenient and comfortable travel and access for users of all ages and abilities, regardless of their mode of transportation.  Require all new and resurfaced highways to have paved shoulders for safe cycling. Establish commuter cycling networks across Ontario.   

Design better systems for freight.  Support strategies to ensure the growth of sustainable, efficient, and safe freight movement in cities. With the adoption of electric and self-driving trucks the landscape is changing drastically. We must ensure that the transition is safe, clean and leads to a new and dynamic use of our roadways.   Fund initiatives designed to take older, less efficient diesel trucks off the road.   Coordinate freight data collection and make this available to municipalities to support policymaking.  Establish a sustainable goods movement strategy.  Create provincial programs that provide education and incentives for businesses and municipalities to implement sustainable freight pilot projects (e.g., off-peak delivery programs, cargo bike and e-bike pilots).  Use low GHG fuels like renewable fuel alternatives to replace diesel for municipal fleets, such as garbage trucks and buses. Create incentives for EV fleets and bicycle delivery.  

Finance sustainable transit with integrity.  Allow municipalities to implement road tolls, including granting Toronto’s request for road tolls on the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway (two of the highways that Premier Mike Harris downloaded to Toronto twenty years ago).  Implement dedicated revenue tools to fund our updated transportation systems that are fair and progressive, such as congestion charges, gas taxes and parking levies. For example, a $2 per day parking surcharge on all commercial parking lots in the Greater Toronto area would raise $2 billion per year for transit in the region.  Establish a permanent long-term sustainable funding stream for cycling and pedestrian infrastructure for all Ontario municipalities.  Provide incentives for transit users, carpooling ride shares, and employers who provide opportunities for workers to work from home. This can reduce road congestion, air pollution and increase productivity of employees.      

Strategy: Protect the People and Places We Love     Ontario is losing greenspace and farmland at an unsustainable rate. Aggregate mining is prioritized over protecting water, natural heritage or farmland. Urban sprawl threatens the places we love.    

 Add climate change to the mix, and it’s clear that threats to our environment get more complicated and challenging every year. Yet for decades, Ontario has spent less year over year on environmental protection programs and natural resource management. The Green Party has a plan that balances the demands of businesses and the rights of citizens to conserve and protect the natural world around us. Our vision for a path forward uses sensible extraction fees and royalty rates; measures the value of activities by looking at more than short-term economic benefits; and requires companies to clean up after themselves--or better yet, not make a mess in the first place. Our plan builds up, not out, and increases protections for provincial parks, forest reserves, farmland and other natural heritage. Protections are particularly needed for Ontario’s neglected wetlands, of which over 72% in Southern Ontario have already disappeared.    

We also need to stop the war on wildlife. The current management system is not working to protect and restore Ontario’s wildlife populations. We need to protect water quality and its quantity in our streams and lakes, ensuring that drinking water needs are met for all Ontarians today and tomorrow. And we need to build a food system that is sustainable, affordable and secure. Let’s grow a better Ontario. The Green Vision to protect our planet:  Strengthen rules to protect our environment Apply a climate lens to all planning decisions, environmental assessments and planning laws to help transition our communities to a fossil fuel free future.  Increase funding to Ministry of Natural Resources and Ministry of Environment and Climate Change to better carry out their responsibilities after decades of underfunding.  Reform the Environmental Bill of Rights to include the principle of the right to a healthy environment for all Ontarians, ensure meaningful citizen participation and provide funding for education, and empower the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario to initiate investigations.       Ensure that new international free trade agreements only be made in consultation with municipal governments, local communities and indigenous people, without jeopardizing our environment. Oppose investor-state dispute mechanisms that undermine our sovereign ability to protect Ontario’s water, farmland and natural resources.   Instill a culture of collaboration and open dialogue between Ministries to ensure natural heritage is protected. This includes encouraging critiques when decisions put our environment and health at risk. For example, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry can make poor resource extraction decisions that threaten our water, a Ministry of Environment and Climate Change responsibility.  Increase oversight for industry development that affects our land, water, and wildlife. 

Raise levies and royalties for aggregates, water, and mining to fully recover the costs of monitoring and managing these essential resources, while providing companies with a financial incentive to prioritize conservation.  Protect biodiversity. Set aside a minimum of 17% of the land base in protected areas according to the internationally agreed upon Aichi biodiversity targets.  Establish a rigorous provincial biodiversity monitoring and reporting program as an early warning system of species loss. This would include information on Ontario’s wildlife, including population trends and habitat quality, so that we can monitor the province’s biodiversity to identify and mitigate decline.   Inventory and designate provincially significant wetlands and grasslands on an ongoing basis, and require that they be protected in municipal official plans within one year of their designation as such.  

Provide incentives for pollinator-friendly farming practices and invest in research about the economic value of wild pollinators for farmers and their crops. Establish an independent science advisory body on wild native pollinators to ensure that the best available science informs implementation and evaluation of the government’s Pollinator Health Action Plan.  Ban logging and other resource extraction in all provincial parks where ecological integrity is threatened, including Algonquin Park which remains open to logging in 65% of its area.    

Establish and expand safe harbour protections to support and financially reward good stewards of our land. This would compensate farmers and residential landowners for the public good they provide in protecting endangered species and at-risk ecosystems on their property.  Conserve farmland, green spaces and natural heritage. Identify and permanently protect Ontario’s prime farmland and support farmers who want to be stewards of the land.  Freeze urban boundaries now to stop urban sprawl and protect farming, water and natural heritage in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.  Grow the Greenbelt to protect a “Bluebelt” of sensitive and significant hydrological and ecological areas where urbanization should not occur.  Support prior and informed consent of Indigenous peoples for any development that would infringe on land claims.  

Liberal Party

Jonathan Hughes

A Liberal government would continue it's strong record of tackling climate change by transitioning to a competitive and low‐carbon economy. We're doing this through investments in the development and adoption of green technologies that will create new opportunities for economic growth and jobs, while protecting the environment from further consequences of climate change.

The cap-and-trade program introduced by the Liberal government sets a hard cap on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while giving flexibility to businesses and industry. On January 1, 2018, we linked our carbon market with those already existing in Quebec and California to form the world’s second largest carbon market. The linked cap-and-trade market was deemed “best-in-class” by Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner and will provide the most effective method to achieve GHG reduction targets, at the lowest cost to people and businesses. Independent economic analysis has also shown that a linked cap‐and‐trade market is the most cost‐effective way to achieve Ontario’s GHG reduction objectives.

Furthermore, Ontario’s Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act, 2016, dictates that all proceeds in carbon allowances must be used towards initiatives that are reasonably likely to reduce, or support the reduction of, GHG emissions.

In 2017–18, Ontario’s five auctions of GHG emission allowances generated $2.4 billion in proceeds that are supporting a wide spectrum of new programs guided by the Province’s five-year Climate Change Action Plan. These investments are already helping Ontario families and businesses reduce costs and transition to a low-carbon economy by:

* Providing audits and retrofits to approximately 17,500 social housing apartment building units and 14,000 homes;

* Implementing 180 projects in 98 hospitals to create energy-related savings;

* Creating healthier, modern and more comfortable learning environments with new energy-efficient upgrades in nearly 600 schools across the province;

* Partnering with 118 municipalities to build bike lanes and bike parking and support new cycling plans; and

* Installing over 300 electric vehicle (EV) chargers, including over 140 level 3 fast chargers, creating the largest public fast-charging network in Canada.

We'll also continue to help people and businesses fight climate change with the Green Ontario Fund, using proceeds from Ontario’s carbon market. In its first year, GreenON has already:

* Engaged 140,000 people in Ontario who will receive home energy audits and no-cost smart thermostats;

* Offered a variety of rebates to help homeowners and businesses save money, including $7,200 off insulation, $5,000 off high-performance windows, $20,000 off ground source heat pumps, $5,800 off air source heat pumps and $100 off smart thermostats;

* Launched GreenON Industries to support major carbon reduction projects for large industrial emitters and improve business competitiveness; and

* Launched the GreenON Challenge with funding of up to $300 million to encourage the development of innovative ultra-low carbon technologies and processes.

New Democratic Party (NDP) 

Peggy Sattler

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.  

 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.    

Andrea Horwath and the NDP believe polluters should pay for the emissions they release, and we will continue pricing carbon through a fair, effective and transparent cap-and-trade market. We will set clear greenhouse gas reduction targets that we can and will meet.    

We will work to ensure all municipalities have active transportation plans - strategies for promoting walking, cycling, and other human- propelled transportation, by 2021.    

We will reverse the sale of Hydro One, and return it to public oversight so Ontario can implement green energy polices cost-effectively, instead of sending more public money into private pockets.   

We will dedicate $50 million in cap-and-trade revenues to seed the creation of a new no-interest/on-bill home efficiency retrofit program, allowing residents to install energy-conserving technologies and improve the energy efficiency of their home. 

 

FOOD WASTE

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

 

Green Party 

Pamela Reid

Same as above

Liberal Party

Jonathan Hughes

 

A Liberal government will expand Second Harvest, a 2017 food pilot, which intercepts food that would have gone to waste from businesses such as supermarkets, restaurants and hotels, and redistributes it through social service organizations to people in need. If Liberals are elected, this project will receive an investment of $1 million in 2018–19.

As well, last month we announced that we're helping households and businesses reduce food and organic waste through the new Food and Organic Waste Framework.

Key actions 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.

 

New Democratic Party (NDP) 

Peggy Sattler

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?

Green Party 

Pamela Reid

The Green Party of Ontario supports a ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides until peer reviewed scientific research can definitively determine that neonicotinoids do not harm bees.    

Adopting a precautionary approach to bee colony collapse is necessary since bees play an essential role in agricultural crop pollination and in maintaining bio-diversity. Without bees, we will not be able to feed ourselves and our food and farming economy is threatened.    

We also support regenerative policies for farmers, compensation for farming practices that foster and support biodiversity.  Provide incentives for pollinator-friendly farming practices and invest in research about the economic value of wild pollinators for farmers and their crops.     

Establish an independent science advisory body on wild native pollinators to ensure that the best available science informs implementation and evaluation of the government’s Pollinator Health Action Plan.  We will also identify and permanently protect Ontario’s prime farmland and support farmers who want to be stewards of the land. 

Liberal Party

Jonathan Hughes

The use of neonicotinoid pesticides is an issue we take very seriously. In 2015, the Liberals became the first government 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) 

Peggy Sattler

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?

Green Party 

Pamela Reid

The Green Party of Ontario will provide permanent operational funding support for municipal transit services in order to reduce fare increases for users, as well as funding for cycling and walking infrastructure. 

Working with each municipality is key, to support education, land use planning to support cycling across the life course, and cycling tourism. 

Establish apermanent long-term sustainable funding stream for cycling and pedestrian infrastructure for all Ontario municipalities. 

Liberal Party

Jonathan Hughes

 

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

What's more, 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) 

Peggy Sattler

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?

Green Party 

Pamela Reid

 

Greens will increase oversight for industry development that affects our land, water, and wildlife.  Phase out the single use bottled water industry in Ontario within ten years. 

Establish Individual Producer Responsibility regulations under the Waste-Free Ontario Act so that companies, not taxpayers, are responsible for the cost of disposing and recycling the products, packages and waste they produce.  

Reinstate the deposit and return system for all soft drink containers, which was hastily abandoned without public consultation in the mid 1990s.  Ensure companies have a strong incentive to eliminate toxins through the extended producer responsibility measures found in the newly passed Waste-Free Ontario Act. 

Give municipalities the authority to take control of source separated recyclables from the Industrial, Commercial & Institutional stream at their discretion. 

Turn organic waste into compost and renewable natural gas by requiring organic source separation and banning organic waste from disposal.  

Create incentives for companies to design products and processes to reduce waste and make products easily repairable and upgradable.   Impose a fee on any new landfill volume created, which would be paid into a special purpose account to be redirected to support research and innovation in solid waste reduction, greenhouse gas reduction and energy from waste technology. 

Liberal Party

Jonathan Hughes

London is rich in water resources, with two Great Lakes a short drive away and the Thames a defining feature of our city. Our health, the health of our environment and our economic prosperity all depend on them.

That's why I'm glad the 2018 budget included $52 million to fund Great Lakes protection measures to ensure they 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've 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 in particular has received over $10.1 million in provincial funding through the CWWF to maintain water and wastewater infrastructure. The Liberal Party will continue to focus on further protecting and improving the quality of our water.

New Democratic Party (NDP) 

Peggy Sattler

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?

Green Party 

Pamela Reid

The Green Party of Ontario will:  Apply a climate lens to all planning decisions, environmental assessments and planning laws to help transition our communities to a fossil fuel free future.  Increase funding to Ministry of Natural Resources and Ministry of Environment and Climate Change to better carry out their responsibilities after decades of underfunding.  Reform the Environmental Bill of Rights to include the principle of the right to a healthy environment for all Ontarians, ensure meaningful citizen participation and provide funding for education, and empower the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario to initiate investigations.      

Ensure that new international free trade agreements only be made in consultation with municipal governments, local communities and indigenous people, without jeopardizing our environment. Oppose investor-state dispute mechanisms that undermine our sovereign ability to protect Ontario’s water, farmland and natural resources.   Instill a culture of collaboration and open dialogue between Ministries to ensure natural heritage is protected. This includes encouraging critiques when decisions put our environment and health at risk. For example, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry can make poor resource extraction decisions that threaten our water, a Ministry of Environment and Climate Change responsibility.  Increase oversight for industry development that affects our land, water, and wildlife.

Raise levies and royalties for aggregates, water, and mining to fully recover the costs of monitoring and managing these essential resources, while providing companies with a financial incentive to prioritize conservation.  Protect biodiversity    

Set aside a minimum of 17% of the land base in protected areas according to the internationally agreed upon Aichi biodiversity targets.    

Establish a rigorous provincial biodiversity monitoring and reporting program as an early warning system of species loss. This would include information on Ontario’s wildlife, including population trends and habitat quality, so that we can monitor the province’s biodiversity to identify and mitigate decline.       Inventory and designate provincially significant wetlands and grasslands on an ongoing basis, and require that they be protected in municipal official plans within one year of their designation as such.     

Provide incentives for pollinator-friendly farming practices and invest in research about the economic value of wild pollinators for farmers and their crops.     

Establish an independent science advisory body on wild native pollinators to ensure that the best available science informs implementation and evaluation of the government’s Pollinator Health Action Plan.   

Ban logging and other resource extraction in all provincial parks where ecological integrity is threatened, including Algonquin Park which remains open to logging in 65% of its area.     Establish and expand safe harbour protections to support and financially reward good stewards of our land. This would compensate farmers and residential landowners for the public good they provide in protecting endangered species and at-risk ecosystems on their property.

Conserve farmland, green spaces and natural heritage Identify and permanently protect Ontario’s prime farmland and support farmers who want to be stewards of the land.  Freeze urban boundaries now to stop urban sprawl and protect farming, water and natural heritage in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.  Grow the Greenbelt to protect a “Bluebelt” of sensitive and significant hydrological and ecological areas where urbanization should not occur.  Support prior and informed consent of Indigenous peoples for any development that would infringe on land claims. 

Liberal Party

Jonathan Hughes

The Liberal Party knows that biodiversity is among the great treasures of our planet. That's why we implemented the Endangered Species Act to prohibit the harm and harassment of protected species and damage or destruction to their habitat.

We're committed to expanding efforts to protect species at risk by investing $15 million over the next three years to support biodiversity in Ontario's wetlands, rivers, and lakes.

New Democratic Party (NDP) 

Peggy Sattler

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?

Green Party 

Pamela Reid

I personally, in addition to the policies created by our party's membership, would support education for youth and life-long learners as to why these transitions are important and necessary.  We need to invest in our public broadcasting services and journalists who work in the public interest, to support environmental awareness and the adoption of sustainable lifestyles.   All these measures will be made available in multiple languages to reach our cultural mosaic of citizens.

Liberal Party

Jonathan Hughes

We know a healthy environment means healthy people and a prosperous economy. The Liberal Party is committed to improving our environment, protecting precious natural resources and leaving a better world for future generations.

New Democratic Party (NDP) 

Peggy Sattler

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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