Ontario’s PCs have ignored climate change at a great cost says reader

To the Editor:

Doug Ford and Justin Trudeau recently committed $1.6 billion to auto-makers to build electric vehicles in Ontario. (All we need now are the rebates for folks to buy them, as other provinces are doing with success.) Maybe Ontario’s Conservatives are Progressive after all.

There are plenty of jobs in a green economy if Ontario would only put its shoulder to the wheel. It’s going to take more than bucks to business to bulldoze the mountain of carbon Ontario and Canada are piling up.

Per capita, Canada has the highest level of carbon dioxide and methane pollution among the G7, and emissions are going up, not down. Ontario will add to that once Mr Ford cranks up our natural gas guzzling electricity plants. He will have to do that when the Pickering nuclear plant, now at the end of its lifespan, shuts down.

The PCs want to open the Ring of Fire to development. And Canada has just approved offshore drilling in the Bay du Nord, off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Ontario’s PCs have, by ignoring the climate crisis, cost us more than $10 billion over the last four years. That figure comes from a report by Environmental Defense and includes …

  • the cost of killing the cap-and-trade agreement we shared with California and Quebec and the annual revenue stream it paid to Ontario in fees,
  • compensation paid to green companies for cancelling all renewable energy projects when the PCs formed government in 2018,
  • legal fees from fighting the federal carbon price.

And that’s not counting the costs of worsening weather – floods and wildfires in northern Ontario and the big storm in Ottawa on the 2-4 weekend – or the cost of abnormally hot summers. Electricity costs (which Mr Ford promised to bring down) are rising along with the heat.

Looking at what the PCs have already done to our climate change efforts, and Mr. Ford’s promise to build more highways in the Greenbelt and in the north, we see that he has not found climate religion. What he has found are votes from blue-collar workers.

David McLaren
Neyaashiinigmiing, ON