Ontario Election Update: Green Party Policies
Our coverage of this election has been a trifle one-sided; I keep writing about the Green Party. On the other hand, the mainstream media are, if not ignoring it, certainly not giving it the coverage it deserves. The NDP is working hard to staunch the loss of votes to the greens; a canvasser had me on the phone for half an hour explaining how the NDP could win this riding, how the Greens are not so green with economic policies that are almost libertarian, with, heaven forbid, a bias towards consumption taxes instead of income taxes! (Yes, I know they are disproportionately hard on the poor, but what do we talk about all day if not "live with less" and why not have a tax system that encourages it?) Furthermore, what TreeHugger would not support almost every single platform proposal listed below?
The Green Party deserves to be heard, and the mainstream media have failed it and all of us in their shoddy and sparse coverage. Dale Duncan of Spacing picked ten ideas from the Green Party Platform that she suggests are are worthy of discussion, regardless of whether or not any Greens make it to Queen's Park after the October 10 vote.
1. "Place the responsibility for the entire life cycle of products with the manufacturer or importer. Producers, not taxpayers, should be responsible for all the costs associated with manufacturing, distribution and disposal."
2. "Implement deposit-return systems for selected products by 2010."
3." Introduce legislation to make organic recycling programs mandatory wherever large quantities of food are consumed."
2. "Amend the 2006 Ontario Building Code to require all new commercial, industrial and institutional buildings, including apartment buildings, to be built to a minimum of LEED-certified rating."
3. "Establish design and construction standards that require no net loss of permeability for residential and commercial development."
4. "Introduce legislation that by 2009 requires all new developments in Ontario to be designed as walkable communities."
5. "Reinstate the authority of municipalities to calculate development charges based on the true cost of growth for infrastructure and services, including roads; culture, parks and recreation; municipal offices; water, wastewater, waste and recycling; health care and health promotion; and any other downloaded services."
6. "Invest $300 million over four years in infrastructure programs that foster local marketing and distribution systems that promote local food."
7. "End funding for religious education in Ontario."
8. "End standardized testing."
9. "Lower the voting age from 18 to 16 years and increase electoral education in our schools."
10. "Establish a statutory holiday on polling days for provincial and municipal elections to encourage voter participation."