Pocket Change Project member Liisa Repo-Martell has a message for Ontario voters concerned about the direction we're heading on climate change.
Spring is finally here! Some of us are beginning to believe there’ll be a future again! (There will! There will!).
The seemingly endless, shifting s-storm of Covid has put the climate crisis on the back burner for the moment but if we going to be able to shape the future we want, we have to get our emissions under control and stabilize our climate, for frack sake!
Although we should do whatever we can to shrink our personal carbon footprint, the real game changing action needs to happen at a systemic level.
Well, an opportunity for system change is just around the corner, folks!
There is a provincial election coming up in June and whatever you think of his other policies, Doug Ford, has been a certified DC villain when it comes to the environment.
Ontario used to be something of a climate champion. We led the world in phasing out coal-fired power, closing the final coal plant in 2014 (no more smog days!) and implemented a Cap-and-Trade program in 2017.
Right out of the gate in 2018, Doug Ford cancelled the Cap-and-Trade program (forfeiting the projected 3 billion dollars to be collected over the following four years to fund green energy transition projects). He also scraped the Green On rebate program for home retrofits, the EV rebate, (and even tore up a check to the Pocket Change Project of $18,000
for community engagement on deep retrofits! Sad emoji.)
Ford spent 230 million dollars to cancel over 750 green energy projects, many of which were nearing completion. We’re talking - already built wind turbines taken down and trashed. For real.
He keeps trying to sell off the green belt every time we look away.
He spent millions of dollars of taxpayer’s money to take the feds to court over the carbon tax. (Remember those crazy gas pump stickers!)
He’s presently scheming to ram an unnecessary highway through pristine forests, watersheds, fertile farm land and at-risk eco systems to save drivers (what independent analysts say) will be about a minute and a half on commute times (but massively raise the value of land owned by his conservative cronies along the proposed highway route).
While his rap sheet of climate crimes is impressive, it’s his plans for the future that are the most worrisome and threaten to roll us back to an even darker and grimier era.
Make sure you’re sitting down for this one.
In 2020, Doug bought 3 gas plants for 2.8 billion dollars and is planning to ramp up carbon emissions from electricity generation by 600% over the next 10 years.
This, in the decade, when all serious science is telling us we must CUT our emissions by 60%, in order to avoid runaway climate chaos.
What!? Why? What is even happening?! How could this be!?
Well, in order to cover Ontario’s coming energy shortfall from the closures/refurbishments of our rickety nuclear plants in the next few years, Ford has decided to go all in on dirty, lung clogging, climate changing fossil fuels as
the best stop-gap solution.
Not only will this plan put the nail in the coffin for any hope of meeting our inadequate climate targets but because of the exorbitant costs of patching up our ragged nuclear infrastructure, we will have consigned Ontarians to paying the highest electricity prices in the country for decades to come.
Especially, when there are now alternatives that could be scaled up in time to meet our energy needs and make those pricey nuclear renos completely unnecessary to begin with.
What you can do:
Talk about Ford’s track record and dastardly plans to whoever will listen.
Write a letter to the editor.
Ask your favorite local radio/tv station to do a story on this issue.
If you live in a “safe” riding (as we all do), volunteer in riding that’s not so safe. Check out ontariovoterscoalition.ca - a grassroots organization targeting vulnerable conservative ridings through volunteer non-partisan door-knocking efforts.
Do all that you can to make sure that Doug Ford and his conservative government are not re-elected in June!