This Friday is Earth Day, so what an auspicious occasion to talk about all things environmental. To shake things up on this week’s edition of Open Sources Guelph, we’ll bring in a ringer in the form of Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner. We’ll spend the hour talking about all things environmental, and how those issues and concerns are being addressed on a political level at Queen’s Park and beyond. We’ll also ask Schreiner your questions if you have any, so please, give them to us.
This Thursday, April 21, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss with Mike Schreiner:
1) Energy Inquiries. The Green Party of Ontario has been hitting the government hard over nuclear power this last year. During the Whitby-Oshawa by-election in January, Schreiner said, “It’s irresponsible for the Liberals to spend billions on rebuilding Darlington without a public review of costs or alternatives.” So what are the alternatives? Why do our energy rates keep going up, while users seem to becoming more and more aware about conservation? What impact will the privatization of Ontario Hydro have on efforts to go green? And locally, the Community Energy Initiative is coming up for debate at city council, and we’ll get Schreiner’s thoughts on that too.
2) Political Ponderings. The tone has certainly changed since last Earth Day. A new government in Ottawa not only seems to be accepting of climate change science, but is ready and willing to do something about it. Canada helped negotiate the new international agreement to combat climate change last December in Paris, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is going to New York at the end of the month to sign it. Meanwhile, in Ontario, Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown embraced the idea of climate change, much to the surprise of some of the attendees of the PC’s policy convention. Are we finally seeing political movement on the environment, or is this just lip-service?
3) Green Guesswork. The flipside of the discussion of whether climate change is a problem is the debate over what to do about it. The Ontario and Alberta governments are both chasing carbon taxes, but a national strategy is hard to pursue because there are so many areas of the country that depend on oil and gas production. Statistically though, wind and solar are growing faster than more traditional forms of energy, but its still being seen as an expensive pipe dream. As for those carbon taxes, there are legitimate concerns that the money will not be handled well, and that in Ontario, it’s not going to be spent on creating more transit and green infrastructure as promised. What more can be done to battle climate change politically and technologically?
4) Local Larks. In the south end of Guelph, residents are still fighting to protect the one-lane Bailey Bridge and the natural heritage of the area even as the City of Guelph looks to proceed with redevelopment. In addition, the always controversial recycling plant received the harsh spotlight of suspicion again when it was announced that that plant lost $2.6 million on a deal that didn’t deliver promised profits. The old adage when saving the environment is “think globally, act locally”, but at this stage of the game, is addressing the problem in your own backyard doing enough to solve the problem? We’ll talk about all that, plus ask Schreiner, about his own Earth Day plans, and any questions that you and the others in the audience provide us.
Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca at 5 pm on Thursday.