Water, water everywhere… Budget drowns Ontario in debt, fails to address environmental shortcomings

For Immediate Release:
March 25, 2010

Queens Park – While the Ontario Budget announced another new clean water plan it neglected to address previous environmental plans that have strangled economic activity with regulation while failing to approach declared green goals.

“It’s all well and good to launch sweeping environmental legislation every year,” Barrett pointed out. “But the track record of this government is to reap the green headlines and then walk away from their obligations – leaving Ontario businesses to spend time and money to pick up the tab.”

Last year the budget spoke of government furthering plans to fight climate change – but this year following cap and trade legislation placing Ontario businesses at a competitive disadvantage, there’s no mention of climate change anywhere in the budget speech.

“Climate change is no longer in vogue for this government – perhaps it’s because the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario has made it clear that the province has no plan to meet its carbon reduction goals,” remarked Barrett. “Just like garbage commitments for 60 per cent diversion rates by 2008 – we currently sit at just 22 per cent – this government makes promises and then leaves them at the curb.”

Barrett remains concerned that bureaucratic red tape attendant with the McGuinty water bill – much as with waste diversion and cap-and-trade – will further hinder Ontario businesses in trade with our partner to the south.

“Red tape and regulation kill jobs, it’s that simple. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business estimates that Ontario’s 500,000 regulations cost the Ontario economy $11 billion per year,” stated Barrett. “When the announced water plan becomes legislation it will be the eighth such environmental act under this government – the cumulative effect of these bills and associated regulations smothers economic activity and drives business out of Ontario.

“I guess McGuinty’s ‘Open Ontario’ means, ‘open the doors before you get trampled by business heading over the border.”

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For more information, please contact MPP Toby Barrett at
(519) 428-0446 or (905)-765-8413, 1-800-903-8629