TORONTO — Cherise Burda, Ontario Policy Director at the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to the release of the Ontario Liberal Party's platform:
"The Liberal platform stays a strong course to phase-out coal and create 50,000 jobs with the Green Energy Act, and its commitment to clean transportation will result in cleaner air and even more clean energy jobs — despite these tough economic times. It's a win-win approach to protecting our environment and ensuring a strong green economy."
On electricity and the Green Energy Act
"Ontario's Green Energy Act is world-leading legislation when it comes to shifting dollars from dirty energy to clean energy, and we are pleased to see the Liberals' continued commitment to it.
"The Pembina Institute's research shows that Ontario consumers would see virtually no relief from high electricity prices if the province cancelled its support for renewable energy under the Green Energy Act, as the Ontario Conservative Party has proposed. In fact, the same research shows that investing in cleaner energy now will likely save Ontario ratepayers money in the long run."
On sustainable transportation
"Ontario currently imports virtually all of its oil for use in the transportation sector, and exports more than $13 billion dollars each year to pay for that oil. Investing in transit, electric vehicle technology and the necessary infrastructure will keep money and jobs in the province, and reduce our dependence on oil imports.
"Modelling by the Pembina Institute shows that the best way to reduce greenhouse gases from Ontario's transportation sector is by reducing the number of cars on the road, and the two most effective policies to achieve that goal are improving transit and making our vehicles run more efficiently or off clean electricity.
"The Liberals' commitment to see the number of electric vehicles on Ontario's roads increase to one in 20 by 2020 will go a long way toward reducing air pollution and ensuring the province is a leader in a clean transportation economy."
Note: The Pembina Institute will release a full platform comparison of Ontario's four major parties in the coming weeks.
Ontario Policy Director
The following Pembina Institute reports, referred to in the above statement, are available online:
Behind the switch: pricing Ontario electricity options examines the economic implications of cancelling Ontario's Green Energy Act.
Bridging the gulf outlines key policy solutions to reduce Ontario's dependence on oil imports and cut greenhouse gas emissions from the province's personal transportation sector.