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Oshawa can be leader in “clean” economy: Schreiner

Mike Schreiner, leader of the Ontario Green Party, speaks with Ken Bright from Ontario Tech University during a recent visit.

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

The leader of the Ontario Green Party believes Oshawa is “perfectly positioned” to be a leader in a “clean” economy.

Mike Schreiner was recently in the city to launch his “Clean and Caring Economy” tour, which will see the Guelph MPP touring southern and eastern Ontario.

During his time in Oshawa, Schreiner took a tour of Ontario Tech University, and later, Windfields Farm on Britannia Avenue.

Schreiner said the Ford government is currently pushing an “economy that is not working for people and the planet.”

But he says there are plenty of examples of industries that are focusing on “low-carbon solutions.”

Ontario Tech, through a number of programs and initiatives, is “delivering the solutions of tomorrow, today,” Schreiner states.

The province is facing a “climate emergency,” and the government must be “prepared to mobilize” in response, and “stop doggedly clinging to rhetoric,” he adds.

Oshawa MPP Jennifer French joined Schreiner during his tour of Windfields Farm.
She agreed a lot of MPPs are “speaking the same language” as him.

French notes when GM announced the closure of its Oshawa plant last year, the company conveyed a focus on electric and autonomous vehicles.

But she believes the current government is “not listening to job creators,” and refuses to transition to a “green economy we know is already there.”

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently struck down a challenge by the Ford government against the federal Liberal’s carbon tax.

Premier Doug Ford says the province will appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

“We know, as do the people of this province, that the federal government’s carbon tax is making life more expensive for Ontarians and is putting jobs and businesses at risk,” Ford said in a released statement. “We promised to use every tool at our disposal to challenge the carbon tax and we will continue to fight to keep this promise.”

French says Canadians “have a sense of environmental responsibility,” and if Ford wants to be an “outlier” in terms of climate change, Ontario must do better to create an effective plan.

Schreiner says he’s “deeply disappointed” to hear the province will continue its legal battle.

“It’s completely reckless – wasting tax dollars and putting the future of our children at risk,” he said.

He said it’s unfortunate politicians, both provincial and federal, are using climate as a “political wedge issue” to divide the public.