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Energy, the Environment and the Ontario 2014 Election: The Platforms vs What Needs to Happen May 2014

Issue What Needs to Happen Green Party NDP PC Liberal
Energy/ Electricity Defer nuclear refurbishments pending completion of an independent, external, public review of likely costs and costs of alternatives (i.e. conservation, renewables and storage, natural gas, hydro-imports from Quebec).Phase out Clean Energy Benefit.Implement meaningful ‘conservation first’ strategy.Continue microFIT program and FIT program for community, farm and aboriginal based renewable energy projects. Cancel nuclear refurbishments, replace with water imports from Quebec and conservation ($1billion/yr home energy retrofits). Merge OPA, OPG, IESO and Hydro One (re-create Ontario Hydro)Cap Hydro CEO salariesHST and debt retirement charge off hydro billsRevolving load fund for energy efficiency retrofits and solar panels.

Improve export prices through trading


Stop subsides for wind and solar, focus on nuclear and hydro imports and “cheap and abundant natural gas”Nuclear key source of basic energy supplyCancel FIT programFuture wind and solar projects subject to demand assessments, competitive bidding and local approval

Trade agreements with other provinces

Voluntary choice for Renewables

End all electric vehicle subsidies

Phase out provincial power subsidy/ clean energy benefit

“Monetize” Hydro one and OPG

Promote LDC Consolidation

New power rate for manufacturing and resource industries pegged to competing jurisdictions (not actual costs)


Bruce and Darlington Refurbishments“Continue” investment in renewable energyEnergy conservation for ratepayersNorthern transmission projects

Expand natural gas access

Reduce electricity costs by 15 per cent for large users and 20% for conservation minded large users


Climate Change Participate in Western Climate Initiative Cap and Trade system with Quebec.Introduce a carbon price as per BC, Alberta and Quebec. Invest revenues in transit and climate change adaptation.Develop a comprehensive climate change impacts and adaptation strategy. Better transit and buildingsClear plan for 2020 targetBio-diesel for trucks, trains,“More coal” reduction

(i.e. alternative fuels?)

Urban Sustainability/ Transit Pursue new revenue tools for transit investments (e.g. carbon charges, congestion charges, gas taxes, parking fees)Provide permanent protection for prime farmland and source water areas.Expand the GTA Greenbelt and settlement area expansion limits into south Simcoe county and other regions subject to growth pressures.Enforce Places to Grow and Greenbelt policies.

Tie infrastructure funding to development of complete, transit supportive, communities.

No outward expansion of GTA highway network.

$3 billion/yr in congestion charges, gas taxes, parking fees for transit.Permanent protection for class 1 farmland and source water areas. $29 billion for transit and transportation over 10 years Provincial control of all GTA highways and rail (i.e. TTC subways and LRTs to Metrolilnx)Cities should decide for themselves where their future growth will go”Make suburbs “complete communities;” downtowns “better places to live” (Thin on specifics  $15 billion for GTA transit$2.5 billion in highways-407 to 115/35-Highway 7 K-W-Guelph

-“Expand” 427


Encourage smarter growth

Expand outer boundary of greenbelt

Invest in and promote local food


Natural Resources/The North Strategic Environmental Assessment of Ring of Fire and boreal development.Focus on value-added economic activities, not just extraction and commodity exports.Increase royalties and fees for aggregates, mining, and water-taking. Increase royalties and fees for aggregates, mining, and water-taking. Invest in Ring of fire infrastructure Repeal Far North Act to encourage Ring of fire $1 billion Ring of fire infrastructure investmentAgriculture in the North
Air/Water/ Waste Address cumulative effects of multiple air pollution sources in single locationAddress nutrient runoff, sewage and stormwater managementReview industrial water pollution control regime (MISA).Establish effective extended producer responsibility regime for HHW and blue box materials. Environmental assessment of proposed oil pipelines across Ontario Financial incentives for reducing agriculture nutrient runoffImprove sewage and stormwater managementOttawa River action plan$30 million for clean water technology.
Nature/ Biodiversity/Protected Areas Remove Endangered Species Act exemptions for resource sectors.See above re: boreal development. Focus Conservation authorities on balancing “needs of our economy and our environment” Protect pollinators and bees (mitigation strategies not regulation)
Economic Strategy Introduce carbon price and revenue reallocation.Focus on clean technology sectors. Reverse corporate tax cuts and use revenues to reduce EHT for small business Reduce regulatory burdenReplace business subsidies with general corporate tax cutPromote free trade Strong emphasis on education and infrastructure.Focus on key sectors: manufacturing; computing; life sciences; start-ups
Governance Adopt anti-SLAPP legislationApply Environmental Bill of Rights notice and comment requirements to ‘registered’ activities.Review roles of delegated administrative authorities as safety regulators (TSSA, ESA).Review regulatory policy to ensure protection of public health, safety and the environment.

Environmental justice assessments of major initiatives and undertakings.

“Closing loopholes” re: SLAPPs, OMB, Endangered Species Act, Aggregate Resources Act. Reduce regulatory burden by 1/3 in three years (principle idea for promoting “quality of life”) 129,000 regulations)Ministry of Finance to cost new regulations.Reduce government spending/ Balance budget by 2017.Reduce public sector by 100,000; no cuts to health care or police. Reduce number of agencies by 30 per centProgram review to save $2.25 billion over three years.Financial accountability officer