Concerns Arise Over Ontario Tory Leader’s New Proposals To Roll Back The Clock On Environmental Protection
From the Office of Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath
Posted October 16th, 2017 on Niagara At Large
Queen’s Park, Toronto – Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is demanding to know when Kathleen Wynne learned about the unending series of toxic chemical leaks in Sarnia’s Chemical Valley, and why she and the Liberals took no action when a plume of toxic benzene was released into a residential neighborhood.
“The premier must explain why the people of Sarnia were not warned by the Ministry of the Environment about a cancer-causing chemical wafting toward their front doors and why they didn’t send an investigator in after the spill to figure out what went wrong,” Horwath said Monday during the legislature’s question period.
According to media reports, over 500 spills or leaks occurred in Sarnia during 2014 and 2015. The city’s spill warning system was used only once during that time, and on repeated occasions, the ministry failed to investigate the source or cause of the leaks.
In 2009, the government agreed to review cumulative air pollution in hot spots like Sarnia, but eight years later, such a review is nowhere to be seen. Horwath demanded an update on that report Monday.
“Kathleen Wynne just can’t seem to get the basics right,” said Horwath. “Investigating spills of carcinogenic chemicals should be a no-brainer, but instead we have a Liberal government and premier focused on their own political troubles, and not the health and safety of families.”
Horwath added that concerns about Conservative Leader Patrick Brown’s stance on the environment are growing in light of the Chemical Valley revelations.
Although Brown continues to refuse to tell Ontario people what he’d do if given a chance to be premier, the Conservatives vague new policy book not only fails to point towards environmental progress – but actually proposes stripping environmental regulations, allowing corporations to move Ontario backwards.
Three of the Conservative policy bullets deal with the environment. Those three demand that “burdensome” environmental regulations be rolled back; that Drive Clean be scrapped; and that Ontario end the Climate Change Action Plan and withdraw from the Western Climate Initiative.
“Kathleen Wynne let us down on the environment – what the families of Sarnia are being put through makes that obvious,” said Horwath. “And Patrick Brown would make things worse, setting us back decades with Conservative cuts and deregulation.”
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