Affordable Green Choices

ONTARIO

People who want to make smart environmental choices should be encouraged to do so. Ontario’s biggest polluters should share the burden of cleaning our environment. These are simple ideas but they are not happening in Ontario today. People hoping to do the right thing for the planet can’t get a break, but some of the biggest polluters in the province get no-strings-attached tax giveaways. Companies that produce toxic material should be responsible for the cost of cleaning it up. Instead, they’re given the right to slap consumers with a new ecofee. The Harmonized Sales Tax gave some of Ontario’s biggest polluters a tax cut while increasing the price of energy efficient appliances. It doesn’t have to be this way. We can confront our environmental challenges and make life more affordable. Read this, pass it on, and talk about it with your friends. It’s our plan for affordable environmentalism.

-Andrea Horwath

Leader of the Ontario New Democrats

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Greg Bennett

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Clean, Renewable, Affordable Electricity
Helping you retrofit and conserve A commitment to clean and renewable energy

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The most affordable way to handle our electricity needs isn’t to produce more. It’s to use less. We can succeed in tackling our energy challenges while making life more affordable – but we have to be smarter. Only 1 in 25 homes has been retrofitted to ensure proper energy savings. Ontario is likely to miss its 2010 energy efficiency targets and in a few years Ontario will start scaling back energy conservation programs – not because we’ve done all we can do – but because new nuclear plants will be coming online and there may not be a market for that electricity if we conserve too much. This doesn’t make sense. It’s time to do something different.

We will take money being spent on nuclear mega-schemes and invest it in comprehensive energy efficiency programs that put money into household budgets. Nuclear power is a vital part of Ontario’s

electricity supply and that’s not going to change quickly or easily. However, Ontario is already struggling to deal with the nuclear waste we already have – waste that will be incredibly dangerous for thousands of years. If that’s not concerning enough the costs of nuclear power should be. Ontario has never completed a nuclear plant on time or on budget. Reactors currently being worked on from France to New Brunswick are literally billions of dollars more expensive than planned and years behind schedule. The cost estimate for building new reactors in Ontario has more than tripled from $7 billion to $26 billion. That’s nearly $2,000 from every person in the province. And that is even before the tragic disaster in Fukushima raised new safety concerns that are expected to push costs even higher. In our Plan for Affordable Change, we will not be proceeding with plans to build new nuclear plants. We will be subjecting future decisions about nuclear power to an environmental assessment that will look at the real costs and environmental impact of nuclear energy when compared with alternatives. While that study is being conducted

we will take money dedicated to nuclear projects and make it available to families that want to retrofit their homes. We will help people who want to make their homes more energy efficient. We will offer rebates of up to $5,000 for people who want to retrofit their homes. When combined with available federal programs

this will add up to $10,000 in savings. In addition, lower-income homeowners and tenants can qualify for grants of up to
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$5,000. We will also offer up to $10,000 in low-interest loans that can be paid back on your hydro bill. Households that invest in retrofits can reduce a yearly $2,000 heating bill by $700. The investment pays for itself – both for homeowners and our electricity system. Provinces like Manitoba have made programs like this work. That’s no surprise. When we make it easier to make environmentally smart choices people will make them. We will direct the Ontario Power Authority to achieve all possible conservation before contracting for new supply. We will work with other jurisdictions to ensure that energy efficiency standards for appliances, products and buildings are continuously strengthened and expanded to address new issues (e.g. the growing problem of phantom power in new electronic appliances) to ensure that consumers are protected from unreliable and energy inefficient products.

A long-term commitment to Clean and Affordable Energy
Ontario consumes over 150 terawatt hours of electricity every year. We have a responsibility to ensure that when we generate it we do it in a way that’s as clean, renewable and safe as possible. We will phase out

coal-fired electricity by 2014 and will place coal plants on emergency stand-by only, until they are phased out. We

will assess alternative ways of powering the plants using biomass and will invest in a just transition plan for the skilled workers, managers, and engineers working at Ontario Power Generation coal plants.
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Andrew Louis

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Nuclear energy creates environmental problems that last thousands of years. It’s a part of electricity supply we can’t simply ignore but we can say we will not build new nuclear reactors and we will carefully assess the need for further refurbs. Instead, we will direct the Ministry of Energy to prepare a new plan looking at more cost effective options, including increased conservation, increased renewable energy, expanded combined heat and power and hydro imports from Quebec. We will submit our plan to a full environmental assessment. We need to be aggressive about bringing clean, renewable energy online. Ontario has made progress, but there have been many problems. Households and farms have invested in solar panels only to find they can’t connect to the grid. A needless backlash against wind energy has been created in communities that feel inadequately consulted. And our publicly-owned, publicly-accountable electricity generator has been ordered not to participate in renewable opportunities. We can do better. We will exceed the current targets for renewable energy with 10,700 MW in 2018 and will commit to at least 5,000 MW of additional green power by 2030. We will maintain the feed-in-tariff for small and community-based projects. For new larger renewable projects we will move towards public ownership. Ontario Power Generation will contract out for large projects with an affordable and transparent process to ensure economic benefits and environmental protection. We will respect existing contracts and move carefully to ensure we continue the momentum towards renewable energy. As the sector grows and technology develops costs will continue to decrease. We will also continue to innovate. Most buildings and factories use natural gas to produce heat but it would be more efficient if they used it to produce heat and electricity. Ontario has a capacity of more than 10,000-15,000 MW of combined heat and power. We will set a target of 5,000 MW of CHP over the next 10 years.
Source: Greenpeace

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Andrew Louis

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Cleaner, Affordable Ways to Get Around
Investing in public transit Making cycling safer and easier

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For people who want to get out of their cars and avoid the pain at the gas pump, the alternatives aren’t always pretty. Public transit should be reliable and affordable. Too often people are paying more to wait longer. Cycling can be even tougher.

We will make transit more affordable by freezing fares. We will achieve this by having the province take on half of the cost of operating municipal transit systems. By

offering to split costs we free up funds to keep fares low but also give municipalities funds to improve service and make capital investments. We will also move forward with plans to expand our transit system and we’ll be making more announcements as the campaign progresses. We will make it easier and safer for people to ride bikes. We will

make it the law that drivers have to stay at least 1 metre away from cyclist on the move. We will promote

planning for complete streets on municipal and provincial roadways, ensuring the safety of all users when roads are developed or redeveloped. We will create a province-wide cycling

infrastructure fund for investments in bike lanes, bike storage and bicycle tourism.
We will make sure that major new developments are accessible by transit and other active modes of transportation, and provide facilities for cyclists.
Andrew Louis
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Tackling the Biggest Polluters & Sprawl

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The Ontario government has failed to stand up to polluters. It failed to make companies pay the full cost of recycling and safely disposing their toxic and overpackaged products, instead allowing them to charge eco-fees to consumers or dump costs onto cash-strapped municipalities. The “Open for Business Act” removed the basic requirement for public notice and public input on many industrial activities that pollute the environment, an approach used in Texas (the most polluting jurisdiction in North America). While tax schemes like the HST have made energy more expensive for consumers, they’ve also offered dramatic no-strings-attached tax cuts to some of Ontario’s biggest polluters. Ontario is not on track to meet our greenhouse gas targets for 2014 or 2020. Those who pollute must take responsibility for their emissions. Working in conjunction with other jurisdictions, we will join the Western

Climate Initiative so Ontario firms can trade into a continental cap and trade plan. Revenues

generated by cap and trade will be re-invested in reducing carbon emissions. We will work with other jurisdictions on a coordinated climate change strategy, continuing to push the federal government to move forward with a national plan. Within our first year in government we will develop a plan for Ontario to meet climate targets of 20% below 1990 levels by 2020.
Andrew Louis
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Andrew Louis Andrew Louis

Citizens should have full information and a fair say about planned industrial activities in their communities. We will

reverse the exemptions granted by the previous government, and ensure that all industrial activities and emissions are posted on the Environmental Registry for public comment.
Last year’s eco-fee fiasco highlighted the importance of getting waste reduction right. We will complete the long-

stalled review of the Waste Reduction Act, making sure that the cost of recycling and safely disposing materials is the responsibility of the companies that produce the products so they don’t show up on your
property tax bill or as a surprising eco-fee on your receipt. We will refocus attention on reducing waste in the first place, and ways to promote reuse of products – both of which are more cost-effective and environmentally benign than recycling.

We will strengthen regulations to reduce overpackaging in cooperation with other jurisdictions.

Despite plans to prevent sprawl and plan development, it keeps happening. We will put an end to government backroom deals to exempt developers from growth limits, such as those set out in the Greenbelt Act, and we

will balance the playing field when it comes to new development, by putting an end to developer “SLAPP” lawsuits used to silence local opposition to mega-projects.

We believe it is possible to balance economic and environmental goals in the North. However, the current government has pushed through legislation without support of First Nations communities who have been stewards of the land for generations. Together we must ensure a sustainable future for the North with a planning process that includes open consultation and full land-use planning. We will support sustainable forest management practices in ways that protect jobs and the environment by making sure all parties – workers, First Nations, and municipalities – are at the table. Ontarians live next to and depend on the health of the Great Lakes for drinking water, recreation, tourism, jobs and industry. There is real concern today about threats to the health of the Great Lakes: over 100,000 have people signed a petition against a risky Government-supported plan to ship radioactive nuclear waste across the Lakes. We will designate a Minister responsible for the protection of the Great Lakes and establish clear objectives and legislation to ensure that decisions by all Ministries protect the quantity and quality of the Lakes. We will not proceed with any approvals for the transport of radioactive steam generators on Ontario’s roads and waterways until a full provincial environmental assessment has been conducted.
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ONTARIO

Authorized by the CFO for the Ontario NDP