Hot days remind us why we need strong leadership on climate change

A key component of commendable political leadership is safeguarding those in one’s care, which includes both constituents and their homes.

Temperatures are rising all over the world. People are dying within the GTA and Quebec due to heat-related illness. The answer is not to simply to buy an air conditioner, but to understand how we can slow down the far-reaching effects of climate change. Re-evaluating our rates, methods and the consequences of energy consumption should be an ongoing and crucial focus of our human existence. By extension our provincial government should foster legislation that supports our shift to renewable energy.

The 377 million dollar Green Ontario Fund, a non-for-profit agency launched by the former government, was established last year to provide subsidies for residential and commercial property occupants who wanted to take it upon themselves to participate in energy-saving programs. These initiatives included subsidized measures such as the modernization of windows and insulation as well as the integration of solar technology. Slashing that fund was Ford’s attack on the environment.

Another target, the Cambridge renewable energy project, was shot down by the Conservatives in an apparent attempt to reallocate funds. The Business Council of Canada urged Ford to reconsider his choice to burn 800 green energy contracts, which sent a message of instability to many investors. Catherine Fife, NDP MPP of Waterloo, said, “Cancelling government contracts in this manner undermines investor confidence and it signals to the business community that the government of Ontario cannot be a trusted business partner.”  

Climate change is not a product of the political imagination; it is rooted in widely acknowledged facts and its effects are felt by people right here in Canada. Green jobs pave the way to a sustainable future. Ford wants to roll our province decades back instead of supporting progressive legislation that would build a healthy and prosperous province for us all. Our premier is fuelled by short-sighted decision-making that is ultimately reckless.

Measuring and monitoring our emissions is the fiscally responsible choice. Cap and Trade regulated the oversight of businesses so that they would be held accountable for their energy usage and emissions’ credits. Ford terminated Cap and Trade in Ontario and by doing so he turned his back on what is best for business. And he turned his back on keeping Ontarians safe from extreme temperatures.

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