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WATERLOO REGION, ON — The David Suzuki Foundation and Sustainable Waterloo Region are releasing today their collaborative report, Ontario's Energy Future: A Climate Change Perspective. The report is a non-partisan, expert review of the energy policy platforms of the four leading political parties with the goal of informing the debate surrounding the province's energy and climate future in advance of the October 6, 2011 Ontario provincial election.

The four leading political parties were presented with 12 questions about their environmental policies related to electricity; natural gas and heating; transportation; jobs and the economy; and budget and cost implications. Academics and experts from environmental groups assessed the ability of each party's energy policies to provide for Ontario's energy future from a climate change perspective by considering how these policies will mitigate against, or adapt to, the impacts of climate change.

Party platform highlights

• The Green Party of Ontario platform emphasizes energy conservation, efficiency and local ownership and development of renewable energy projects. The Green Party also favours tax credits for businesses to invest in energy efficient and retrofit buildings.

• The New Democratic Party of Ontario platform focuses on energy efficiency and conservation, with public ownership of large clean energy projects. The NDP favours reducing taxes on electricity, home heating fuels and gasoline.

• The Ontario Liberal Party platform continues its focus on the development of clean energy in Ontario through both public and private sector investment, and with its Feed-In-Tariff program. The Liberals plan to move ahead with transit expansion across Southern Ontario.

• The Ontario Progressive Conservative Party platform commits to making smart meters and time-of-use billing optional, and to cancel the province's Feed-In-Tariff program. The Progressive Conservatives intend to reduce taxes on electricity and home heating.

"Our common vision for Ontario is a future where a strong economy and healthy environment exist interdependently. It is our hope that this report will help Ontarians better understand the implications of each party's energy platforms and help them make a fully-informed decision when they cast their ballots," says Dale Marshall, Climate Change Policy Analyst, David Suzuki Foundation.

"This election is a particularly significant one for Waterloo Region residents and for all Ontarians, given the ongoing focus being placed on long term energy issues and sustainability. Voters have lots of choice when assessing which political party best embraces these issues, and we're thrilled to help inform the discourse," says Mike Morrice, Executive Director, Sustainable Waterloo Region.

The David Suzuki Foundation and Sustainable Waterloo Region have released this report to contribute to the public discourse, and do not advocate for the support of any one political party.

The full report and party responses are available for download here: http://www.sustainablewaterlooregion.ca/news-2/ontarios-energy-future/

Experts weigh in

On September 22, 2011 at 4:30pm at Kitchener's Tannery District, experts will discuss the report with an audience of business, community, and political leaders on the importance of energy policy in Ontario at the Tannery Event Centre, 151 Charles Street West, Kitchener (map).

About Sustainable Waterloo Region

Sustainable Waterloo Region is a not-for-profit that advances the environmental sustainability of organizations across Waterloo Region through collaboration. The organization's primary focus is the Regional Carbon Initiative (RCI), which facilitates voluntary target-setting and reductions of carbon emissions by local organizations.

About the David Suzuki Foundation

The David Suzuki Foundation works with government, business and individuals to conserve our environment by providing science-based education, advocacy and policy work, and acting as a catalyst for the social change that today's situation demands.

Contact:
Kelly McMath, Public Relations Manager, Sustainable Waterloo Region
Tel: 519-772-0621 Cell: 519.404.8986
Email: kelly.mcmath@sustainablewr.ca
Website: www.sustainablewaterlooregion.ca
Dale Marshall, Climate Change Policy Analyst, David Suzuki Foundation
Cell: 613-302-9913, Email: dmarshall@davidsuzuki.org

September 21, 2011
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/media/news/2011/09/david-suzuki-foundation-and-sustainable-waterloo-region-release-report-assessing/