(Queen’s Park) – The environment plan in the People’s Guarantee was highlighted in the Ontario Legislature on November 29th by Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott.
Mr. Arnott serves as the Ontario PC Caucus Critic to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.
The following is the text of his remarks at Queen’s Park:
Our Official Opposition Caucus is united in enthusiastic endorsement of the People’s Guarantee: what the Toronto Star calls “a serious plan that will deserve serious consideration from voters.”
Included in this plan are strong statements about the need to protect and preserve our natural environment.
Our Caucus accepts the scientific consensus on climate change. The Earth is warming, human activity is a significant contributing factor, and we in Ontario need to do our part to reduce carbon emissions.
Premier Wynne’s Government is for a cap-and-trade scheme that will ship 466 million taxpayer dollars to California.
Our Caucus categorically rejects that approach. But we also know that doing nothing is not an option.
Why is this?
The Trudeau Government in Ottawa is mandating a carbon pricing benchmark. While no one likes or wants new taxes, all the provinces will need to respond.
There is a better way for the people of Ontario.
We say that every dollar collected in carbon price revenue should be returned to Ontario families and taxpayers in the form of corresponding tax relief, as verified by the Auditor General.
We also say that action needs to be taken to support initiatives which clean up our Great Lakes, and reduce sewage going into our lakes and rivers.
That is our Leader’s assurance to the people of Ontario: part of his People’s Guarantee.
We commend this plan for positive change to the people of Ontario.
We also need to protect our ground water for today, and for future generations. That’s why I continue to advocate for a science-based approach to considering applications for large-scale Permits to Take Water in Ontario, and I’m starting to question why we don’t have some kind of effective deposit/return system for plastic, single-use beverage containers. Surely, we can do better to improve the recycling rates of empty plastic bottles.
Together, let us embrace the promise of the future.
Thank you Mr. Speaker.
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Ted Arnott, MPP