Toronto – Ontario Liberal Leadership Candidate Steven Del Duca released his Multi-Party Climate Change Plan today – an ambitious plan to tackle climate change in Ontario.
“Climate Change is an emergency in Ontario. As Premier, I will introduce an aggressive, accelerated, non-partisan and results-driven action plan to reduce carbon emissions quickly,” said Steven Del Duca.
“We need to help Ontarians mitigate climate change impacts and we need to make it possible for every one of us to take action.”
“If Liberals and Ontarians give me the honour of being premier, I would begin implementation of my climate change plan within 100 days.”
Del Duca’s Multi-Party Climate Change Plan would:
Create the Multi-Party Climate Emergency Committee of Cabinet. Chaired by the Premier, this cabinet committee will include at least one member from each of the four existing parties of the legislature, as well as ministers and deputies from all relevant ministries.
Introduce the Accelerated Ontario Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) Infrastructure Program. Leveraging existing federal government program infrastructure, this program will double the funding allocated by the federal government to build re-fuelling stations for ZEV in public places across Ontario (such as arenas, libraries, community centres, and multi-unit residential buildings) and will also double the federal government’s funding that incentivizes construction of re-fuelling facilities on highways, natural gas refuelling stations, and hydrogen refuelling stations.
Plant 800m Trees in Ontario over 10 Years. Ontario will deliver on the federal government’s promise to plant 2b trees nationally over 10 years. It’s doable: 800m trees over 10 years is 6 trees planted per year for each Ontarian. This will be the largest re-forestation program in Ontario history. The government will work in partnership with municipalities, indigenous groups, industry, private landowners and the federal government to get this done.
Establish the Ontario Incentives for ZEV (iZEV) Program. Leveraging the existing federal government program infrastructure, this program will double the federal government’s ZEV incentives, meaning that purchasers eligible for the maximum $5,000 benefit under the federal program will now receive $10,000 in combined federal and provincial support. Like the federal program, certain luxury vehicles would be excluded.
Set Up the Ontario Public Transit Discount Program. This program will provide a 50% discount in off-peak transit fares province-wide, to incentivize commuters to take public transit at times that it won’t burden our transit systems. Off-peak hours will be defined as: all hours outside of a peak one-hour window in the morning on weekdays, and a peak one-hour window in the evening, and all day on weekends and holidays.
Initiate the Ontario Climate Resiliency Infrastructure Fund. This fund will provide $100m per year to support municipalities (large and small), farmers, and private industry in adapting to the impacts of climate change and building climate resiliency.
Teach the Ontario Climate Change Education Initiative. Ontario will develop a climate change curriculum for delivery to all Ontario primary and high school students on the importance of the environment and climate change; future “green” careers that focus on answering the climate change challenge; and how students and their families can reduce carbon emissions and mitigate carbon impacts.
“I’m running for Premier of Ontario because I want a better future for my kids. I believe that we need an aggressive climate change plan to make Ontario a climate leader again. My daughters have come home from school terrified about climate change, they are horrified about what is happening to our planet and they have every reason to be worried.”
“These past few weeks we have seen Australia quite literally, burn. Ontario will not be immune to the effects of climate change and already we are seeing adverse effects to our communities.”
“These are big ideas, but they are big achievable ideas,” he concluded.