Doug Ford’s poor record on the environment and climate change – Reuters

Doug Ford’s poor record on the environment and climate change – Reuters

In the face of increasingly negative predictions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Ontarians will seek to consider options on environment and climate change in the June 2 vote.

The main characteristics of the Conservative Development Development Doug Ford’s performance in the environment are well known: the breakdown of the previous government’s climate change strategy; a war with the federal government over carbon prices, which eventually ended in failure in the Supreme Court; cancellation of more than 700 renewable energy projects, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars; redesign of town planning laws at the regional and local levels for developers; and sharply influencing the proposed highway through the Greenbelt.

There is more. The Ford government has also weakened conservation authorities in flood-prone areas, undermined protection for endangered species, and demolished industrial pollution control systems.

This agenda has continued, and in many ways has accelerated, under the guise of “disaster recovery”. The environmental assessment process in the state has been severely disrupted. Extensive authority has been given to regional agencies, including Metrolinx. The state’s most recent measures have sought to set aside local government planning responsibilities and eliminate the need for public consultation as a “bureaucracy.”

The region released the “Ontario Environment Plan” in late 2018, but has done little to implement it since then. Ontario is now on track to see a significant increase in production, especially from the electricity sector.

During this process, the region shifted from legislative and evidence-based decision-making to approaches based on access, relationships and political aspirations. The emerging style of governance is more rooted in 19th-century political principles than it was in the 21st century.

Basically, the Ford government thought that anyone who cared about climate change and the environment would not vote for him anyway.

With the exception of a severe weather-related weather event or a Walkerton-type disaster during the campaign period, the greatest environmental political danger facing the government is probably the growing opposition to the government’s increasingly authoritarian approach to planning and development. . Ongoing threats to the Greenbelt – and more recently, the harsh use of Richmond Hill and Markham ministerial directives to support high-level development for goals that seem to do nothing but serve the interests of the development industry – are already causing chaos in key 905. an area near Toronto which is part of the “Ford Nation” base.

For the Ontarians who are looking for alternatives to the current government on climate change and environmental issues, the state Green Party, perhaps without surprise, has provided more detailed answers yet. Party votes have been reduced, the possibility of collateral damage due to the collapse of the state party in the 2021 federal elections. But the possible role of the Green Party in that election should not be overlooked. In a very broken vote, the Greens could end up holding a balance of power in the minority parliament, as happened in British Columbia in 2017.

In contrast, the environmental dimensions of the NDP platform are disappointing in content and detail. The party proposes a 2050 total zero plan, reversing the gas and gas trading system and committing itself to renewable energy development. The Liberal Platform promises to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and recommends action on public transportation, electric vehicles, buildings and electricity, but also relies heavily on federal government plans to reduce emissions.

The 2022 elections are about to become the most important Ontario environment in the modern era, and its impact could change for generations to come.

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