QUEEN’S PARK - Today, PC Critic for Environment and Cap and Trade Lisa Thompson commented on the Environmental Commissioner’s annual report, slamming the Liberals for continuing to practice photo-op environmentalism.
“The Environmental Commissioner’s report has once again confirmed what we in the PC Party have been saying: that the Liberal Government is in it for themselves,” stated Thompson. “It’s obvious the Liberals aren’t treating the environment as a priority. Instead, this government is focused on the fire sale of Hydro One and creating new taxes on Ontarians.”
The Commissioner’s comments on the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) demonstrate the continued failings of the Liberals to remain transparent and inclusive. In her comments, the Commissioner said that the EBR was to be a two-way conversation but we know that isn’t the case, and is nothing more than a tool of by-gone days. Thompson has long questioned the effectiveness of the EBR and welcomes a chance to see it improved.
Among the recommendations, acting Environmental Commissioner Ellen Schwartzel also suggested a phased increase on the cost of water for industry.
“Any changes made to water pricing for the business sector must include real consultations with the industries affected,” Thompson continued. “If the Liberals are going to move forward on this recommendation, the government need to also remain mindful of the potential impact to business. As a result of Liberal economic policies, businesses in Ontario are already struggling under some of the highest energy rates in North America, a new job-killing payroll tax and a proposed cap-and-trade tax.”
The report further highlighted the government’s failure to use an evidenced-based approach to developing environmental policy. In particular, the ECO found that not enough scientific study has occurred relating to neonicotinoid pesticides, and recommended that there needs to be more Ontario-based research conducted on this issue.
“The Ontario PC Party has long advocated for a science-based approach to neonics. We must ensure that any targets set, and any policies implemented, are founded in scientific evidence,” Thompson concluded.
For more information and to download the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario’s 2015/2016 annual report, go to: http://www.eco.on.ca/.