“The 16 lanes of asphalt highway on the cover of today’s budget tell Ontarians everything they need to know about the government’s environmental agenda. This budget would commit billions to environmentally disastrous projects like Highway 413, the Bradford Bypass, and the widening of Highway 417 that will destroy Greenbelt, farmland, and endangered species habitat, worsen car traffic, and keep our existing suburbs mired in car-dependency for decades to come.” – Phil Pothen, Ontario Environment Program Manager, Environmental Defence
Experts for citizen group Environmental Defence react to the 2022 Ontario budget
News from Environmental Defence
Posted April 29th, 2022 on Niagara At Larg
Toronto | Traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Chippewas and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation –
Keith Brooks, Programs Director:
Ontario’s Budget 2022 shows once again that this government doesn’t care about the environment. The environmental elements of the budget are mainly focused on building more highways and encouraging more people to drive by cutting the gas tax, removing tolls, and eliminating license fees, none of which are new announcements.
The budget also celebrates that businesses will be paying over a billion dollars less for their pollution, thanks to the government’s cancellation of the cap-and-trade program. This government has wasted millions tearing up green energy projects and fighting against climate change policy. This head-in-the sand budget dooms us to billions more in climate damages in the years to come
Phil Pothen, Ontario Environment Program Manager:
The 16 lanes of asphalt highway on the cover of today’s budget tell Ontarians everything they need to know about the government’s environmental agenda. This budget would commit billions to environmentally disastrous projects like Highway 413, the Bradford Bypass, and the widening of Highway 417 that will destroy Greenbelt, farmland, and endangered species habitat, worsen car traffic, and keep our existing suburbs mired in car-dependency for decades to come.
Even the government’s so-called “transit-oriented community” Minister’s Zoning Orders are not what they appear: rather than increasing the number and share of homes constructed in existing neighborhoods, as both housing and environmental advocates have demanded, they merely re-shuffle apartments that York Region was already required to plan and approve.
Lana Goldberg, Ontario Climate Program Manager:
The push for new mega highways like Highway 413 is an antiquated approach that will put more cars on the road and increase greenhouse gas emissions, while doing nothing to reduce congestion. And the government still hasn’t disclosed how much its pet project will cost Ontario taxpayers, most of whom will not use this redundant highway.
Electric Vehicle production and charging stations will not magically lead to the mass adoption of EVs without purchase incentives for consumers, which this government canceled early in its term.
Expanding “natural” gas networks to the north is an outdated idea at a time when we should be electrifying heating and phasing out the use of gas plants to generate electricity. And the hydrogen plan is riddled with problems like using biomass, nuclear plants, and carbon capture and storage.
At a time when solar and wind are the cheapest new forms of energy, it’s puzzling that the government wants to invest in anything but proven renewable energy.
ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.
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