Ontario Throne Speech is environmentally disappointing

When the Ontario Liberal Party selected Kathleen Wynne as the next Premier of the Province just a month ago there was already concern that environment and a greener economy did not appear to be high on her agenda. Yesterday’s Throne Speech, intended to be a document which lays out a government’s legislative, regulatory, and policy agenda for the next session of Parliament, seems to confirm that concern.  With the exception of energy conservation and reiteration, for the umpteenth time, of the government’s intention to phase out coal-fired electricity, the environment was almost completely absent. Apparently the ‘new government’ either thinks that environmental conditions in Ontario are acceptable or that the citizens of Ontario no longer care about the environment. In GallonDaily’s opinion the Liberal government has just handed the Green Party of Ontario a huge opportunity to win seats in the next provincial election.

The word ‘pollution’ does not appear in the 14 page Speech from the Throne and the word ‘environment’ is only used in the context of protecting ‘the beauty of our natural environment’ and reduction of  daily commute times which will reduce the impact [of commuting] on our climate and natural environment. GallonDaily does not understand how reducing commute times reduces the impact of commuting on the environment, unless people are required to move closer to their place of work or learning, which seems an unlikely proposal.

The only environmentally-related agenda items that GallonDaily could find in the Speech, far fewer than in most recent Throne Speeches, are the following:

  • your government will continue to assert Ontario’s pride of place in the realms of manufacturing, financial services, tourism, forestry and natural resource development.
  • because conservation is the cheapest source of energy available, Ontario will continue to be a leader in smart-grid technology and energy conservation, and see the creation of new-economy jobs through the deployment of leading energy efficiency technologies in our homes and our businesses.
  • [the government] will celebrate our hard work, our ingenuity, our diversity, our arts and culture, and protect the beauty of our natural environment.

At the closing of the Speech from the Throne the government wrote:

  • Your government believes all things are possible.

GallonDaily suggests that such an aspiration is only true if the environment is protected. Otherwise continuation of the social and economic well-being of all Ontarians becomes impossible.

The Ontario Speech from the Throne can be found at http://www.premier.gov.on.ca/news/thronespeech.php?Lang=EN

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