Ex Premier Dalton McGuinty may well go down as the “Worst Premier of a Province ever in the history of Canada”!
He has doubled the debt of Ontario in his tenure and has scores of scandals that have cost tax payers literally BILLIONS of $$$ of their money in the process!
The worst Act that he has legislated on the Ontario populace however was the most ANTI-Democratic Bill ever introduced in Parliament in May of 2009 called the Green Energy Act Bill 150.
This Bill has basically ruined our energy sector, once the most stable and economically affordable system in the World. Now it’s a costly unstable and destructive force with the Wind Turbine “cancerous growth” that will continue for decades.
Here’s the kicker! A Professor of Law and Economics at the University of Ottawa has just written a post in the Toronto Star on Dalton McGuinty’s legacy in Ontario politics which can only be described as “lipstick on a pig”!
Here’s the short bio on the author according to the notes at the end of the article.
Stewart Elgie is professor of law and economics at the University of Ottawa (he discloses that the Ontario government has been one of many funders of the research institute he directs).
Former Ontario premier moved to control urban sprawl and phased out coal-powered generation.
A handful of Canadian political leaders have left impressive environmental legacies. Mike Harcourt ended B.C.’s “war in the woods,” creating a world class parks network and tough new forestry rules. David Peterson pioneered the blue box recycling program, and made great strides in fighting acid rain and water pollution across Ontario (together with environment minister Jim Bradley). Brian Mulroney, voted Canada’s greenest prime minister, passed three major environmental laws and played key roles in pushing global treaties on species loss, ozone depletion and climate change. But Dalton McGuinty is the greenest of them all, as a review of his environmental record reveals.
Let’s start with controlling urban sprawl — a huge problem in southern Ontario. McGuinty’s government passed the Places To Grow Act, requiring cities and towns to grow within their existing footprints (up, not out). It strengthened the much-abused Planning Act, requiring municipal plans to conserve wildlife, wetlands and waterways. And it created Ontario’s greenbelt, a 1.8 million-acre swath stretching from Niagara Falls to Cobourg where precious green space and headwaters are preserved in Canada’s most populous region.
Perhaps his greatest legacy has been phasing out Ontario’s reliance on coal-fired power — the province’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution (that caused thousands of deaths each year). This phase-out, although it took longer than initially planned, has been the single biggest pollution-reduction action by a North American government in the past decade.
To replace the power from these dirty coal plants, Ontario brought in aggressive measures to promote energy conservation. It also passed the Green Energy Act, aimed at making Ontario a leader in renewable power generation — which UN environment chief Achim Steiner called “one of the boldest moments in history.” The boom in wind farms and solar panels, though sometimes controversial with local landowners, has generated an estimated 20,000 jobs and is positioning Ontario to prosper in the world’s fastest growing energy market.
On the conservation front, McGuinty’s government passed Canada’s toughest law to protect endangered animals, and brought in world-leading standards to safeguard Ontario’s parks. He doubled the amount of protected area in Algonquin Park. And he made one of the largest nature protection commitments ever in the world: a pledge to preserve 50 per cent of Ontario’s northern boreal forest (the largest wild forest area left on Earth), together with First Nations and northern communities.
Left with the fallout from the Walkerton disaster, McGuinty quickly established North America’s strongest drinking water standards — from source to tap. These stringent rules, and the subsequent Water Opportunities Act, have spurred Ontario firms to become world leaders in clean water technology innovation.
Other noteworthy eco-accomplishments include: making Canada’s largest investment ever in public transit, passing a pioneering Toxics Reduction Act (reducing harmful chemicals in manufacturing and promoting green chemistry), and banning the cosmetic use of pesticides — to name just a few.
McGuinty would be the first to give much of the credit for these environmental policies to his cabinet, MPPs, political staff and civil servants — and rightly so. But most of these initiatives would not have come about without his leadership.
Despite these accomplishments, McGuinty’s green record is not spotless. (Politics is the art of the possible, not the perfect.) For example, his government failed to bring in promised rules to control and price greenhouse gas emissions (which would lessen the need for clean energy subsidies). Implementation of the new Endangered Species Act has been slowed by numerous industrial exemptions. And his government did not act on road pricing, arguably the most important (and contentious) measure needed to reduce the GTA’s traffic gridlock and fund new transit infrastructure. These shortcomings are now critical challenges facing Ontario’s new premier.
A hallmark of McGuinty’s green legacy was recognizing that environmental protection and economic development can (and must) go hand in hand. He took office at a time of economic transition. Ontario’s traditional manufacturing base had been waning for years, as part of the global shift in production to low wage countries. The rapidly rising Canadian dollar, stoked by Alberta’s oil boom, exacerbated the problems for Ontario exporters. Going back to the old economy was not (and is not) an option. The world is shifting toward a greener economy — one that will reward energy efficiency, eco-innovation, and wise use of natural resources.