Ontario Election 2007: And They Are Off

Do voters really care about the environment? In Ontario, Canada it is the official start of the first fixed-date election. Until now, the Government got to pick the date and drop the writ whenever they felt they had the biggest advantage; then they passed a law fixing the date every four years, which takes away a big advantage for the ruling party. Ontario is big, with almost 40% of Canada's population and 52% of its manufacturing, and Provinces have more power than States do, controlling, among other things, their own energy resources. Another difference in a parliamentary system is that the leader is a sitting member of the house, unlike a Governor who runs on a separate ballot, so citizens don't get to vote for the leader, they have to vote for their local member of Parliament. So much for civics, lets look at the parties- they are all claiming to be green and driving biofueled buses, who is the greenest of them all? Fair and Balanced coverage follows:

Dalton McGuinty and the Liberal Party
Liberal Leader and Premier Dalton McGuinty with Environment Minister Laurel Broten

I have to say, the Liberals have done good. They backtracked on their election promise to close our coal fired power plants by 2007, but have a plan to close them by 2014. There is a bit more nuclear than we like, but the nukes are already supplying 37% of our power. But they are also banning incandescents, bringing in green licence plates, and paying pots of money for renewable energy. On other fronts, they introduced deposits on wine and liquor bottles, and brought in much needed legislation to save the green belt around Toronto.

Environment Minister Laurel Broten sets my teeth on edge whenever she opens her mouth to spout jargon like my favourite quote, "an impactful multifaceted approach. We have all hands on deck to build a lesser footprint and incentivize the public" and is a hypocrite to boot, but she follows orders, and that counts for a lot in our system.

McGuinty also gets hugs for one of the smartest quotes of the year:

"Somebody recently said that when it comes to dealing with climate change and environmental issues generally, it would be a mistake to look for a silver bullet and we should be deploying silver buckshot."

Tomorrow: John Tory and the Progressive Conservatives

Tags: Ontario

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