Pembina Institute

Blog Posts by Cherise Burda

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Cherise Burda — Oct. 3, 2011

Ontarians head to the polls on Thursday to elect the next provincial government, at the close of an election campaign where green energy has emerged as a hot-button issue. As the rhetoric has escalated on all sides of the debate, Ontario voters have also had to wade through a great deal of misinformation about their energy options. Read more...

Cherise Burda — May 17, 2011

As the price of gas continues to fluctuate, drivers are feeling the pinch, and they're looking for someone to blame — be it the HST, the energy companies or political unrest in the Middle East. Many motorists are also calling for the government to step in and provide relief, prompting Ottawa to push for more transparency on how those skyrocketing prices are set. Meanwhile, the Ontario government claims that if it reduces prices at the pump through tax decreases, energy companies will just jump in and inflate prices to fill the gap. Read more...

Cherise Burda — Aug. 20, 2010

"Windmills not Oil Spills" ­— I saw this bumper sticker during the BP disaster. A Google search unearthed some even more provocative bumper stickers: "Plug the Damn Hole!" and "Way to go Gashole."

I'm hoping the vehicle owners that brandish these stickers will also realize the irony of an anti-oil sticker on a gasoline-fuelled bumper, regardless of its tagline. Surely they understand the connection between the Gulf disaster and their own steering wheel? Read more...

Cherise Burda — Aug. 2, 2011

Last Friday, while many Canadians were gassing up their cars getting ready to hit the road for the long weekend, U.S. president Barack Obama unveiled new regulations to lower drivers' gas bills and cut pollution from American vehicles.

  Read more...

Cherise Burda — Aug. 26, 2011

Recently we learned that Canada plans to follow the Obama administration's lead in requiring manufacturers and importers to meet new fuel-efficiency standards to lower greenhouse gas emissions for large trucks and buses. Read more...

Cherise Burda — Feb. 20, 2014

It’s high time that we stopped thinking of downtown and the suburbs as enemies. In reality, they have more in common than ever before. Read more...

Cherise Burda — April 7, 2011

The long-term success of Ontario's Green Energy Act may hinge on the decisions about the future of nuclear power in Ontario that are being made as we speak. Read more...

Cherise Burda — Feb. 13, 2013

I want a medal for dedication. Saturday I gave up skiing in two feet of glorious sun-drenched snow to crowd inside Metro Hall for a public roundtable hosted by Metrolinx to debate how best to raise public dollars to fund transit expansion — one of a series of consultations currently taking place across the Toronto and Hamilton region. Read more...

Cherise Burda — Aug. 21, 2013

When I was growing up at Highway 7 and Bayview Avenue in Markham, the bus showed up when it felt like it. An hour could pass while you waited at the stop.

This Sunday, I ventured back to my homeland and did something I never would have considered as a teenager: I chose to ride the bus along Highway 7. But this was no ordinary bus: it was an example of bus rapid transit, an outstanding transit option for low-density neighbourhoods. Read more...

Cherise Burda — June 8, 2011

Road pricing in Toronto could be right on the money, says Cherise Burda in response to a recent article in the Toronto Star citing public displeasure with the idea. It just needs some thoughtful politicians to make tough but informed decisions that provide commuters with choices. Read more...

Cherise Burda — Dec. 18, 2013

Last week, the premier’s advisory panel on transit investment proposed a strategy to raise funds for transit expansion while minimizing the burden on taxpayers. The panel’s strategy includes a gas tax, which became a lightning rod in the subsequent discussion. However, the cost of inaction far exceeds to costs of a gas tax, which would pay for a regional rapid transit network and alleviate congestion. Read more...

Cherise Burda — March 20, 2012

This week Toronto City Council meets to decide on whether or not to accept the recommendations from the Expert Advisory Panel regarding transit on Sheppard Avenue East. The panel, which released its report on Friday, concluded that light rail transit (LRT) was the better option for Sheppard Avenue, not just because it is most cost effective, but for a variety of other benefits. Read more...

Cherise Burda — April 5, 2010

We probably couldn't have planned a better release date for Driving Down Carbon, a report we published today looking at the impacts of how Ontarians get around. It coincides with recent findings that show gridlock in Toronto is among the worst for big cities. And it's necessary to give context to recent transit cuts, new vehicle emissions standards and climate commitments. Read more...

Cherise Burda — Jan. 26, 2012

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford claims on his Facebook page that the Pembina Institute’s 2011 analysis of Toronto transit options support his case for a Sheppard Subway. Although we are pleased to see that the Mayor appreciates our work, some of his points require clarification.  Read more...

Cherise Burda — Nov. 4, 2013

The first paper released by Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Transit Investment Strategy Advisory Panel unpacked some hard truths about transit. Those truths include how the cost of transit encompasses much more than just the cost of building it, and how building transit to an area doesn’t mean that development will come.

If the government is honestly asking taxpayers to contribute to the next wave of Big Move projects, it must be smart and responsible with everyone’s money. The panel needs to ensure that investments in transit provide maximum benefits and deliver tangible results, both in the short and long terms. Read more...

Cherise Burda — March 28, 2011

Lately it's been pretty quiet here in "Transit Nation." This may be the calm before the storm; surely any day now we will learn the fate of Mayor Ford's newest transit proposal. In advance of any final decision, Pembina has completed an analysis of the new plan, comparing how it stacks up against phase one of Transit City. Read more...

Cherise Burda — Dec. 12, 2013

Today, the premier’s Transit Investment Strategy Advisory Panel proposed a transit funding strategy that represents a consensus on how to raise new dollars. It passed the tests set by thirteen panel members representing diverse interests — including labour, business, developers and drivers — and is a well-thought-out proposal that deserves serious consideration from the broader public. Read more...

Cherise Burda — Jan. 19, 2011

It may seem like stating the obvious — commuters who take the train (whether subway, Go transit or proposed light-rail) to and from work produce less air pollution than those who drive. The same goes for shipping. Moving freight out of trucks and onto trains and providing commuters with rapid, affordable transit options in and around Toronto will reduce smog, clear up traffic congestion, fight climate change, improve people's health and save Ontario taxpayers billions of dollars every year.

Unfortunately, the benefits of replacing road transportation with rapid transit have often been obscured in the highly charged debate over transportation planning in the Toronto region. Those benefits are the focus of a new report released today by the Pembina Institute and Sustainable Prosperity. Read more...

Cherise Burda — April 30, 2013

For the Wynne government to pass its first budget, it may have to consider some policies demanded by the NDP, including rolling back auto insurance premiums by 15 per cent. While insurance rates are higher in Ontario than in some other provinces, there are better policy solutions to offer drivers a break without undermining other key government priorities — namely reducing congestion in the GTA. Read more...

Cherise Burda — May 13, 2013

The provincial budget saw the introduction of Ontario’s first (and modest) revenue tool to fund transit: high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes. With the provincial budget hot off the press, now is a good time to examine how HOT lanes work and what impact they have on congestion, as well as commuters. Read more...

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