Photo 1: Former Vice President Al Gore alongside Premier Wynne
The former U.S vice president, Al Gore, attended a climate change conference hosted by Ryerson University alongside Premier Kathleen Wynne. Known for his work against climate change, including his winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore gave a speech this Thursday as he praised Ontario’s and Wynne’s fight against climate change issues in the province (Gignac & Benzie, 2018).
Using this opportunity to push Wynne’s election bid, he specifically praised her government on their implementation of cap and trade. “I travel all over the world and I cite Ontario as an example of a provincial government that is doing it right: creating jobs, building the base for economic progress, while also staving off the severe danger that the climate crisis poses to all of us,” he said during his speech (Gignac & Benzie, 2018). The province’s cap and trade system was implemented in Ontario last year, aiming to reduce GHG emissions through creating restrictions, in this case ‘caps’, on industry emissions and forcing these industries to purchase allowances during auctions or other companies if they want to release more than their caps (CBC News, 2018).
Gore expressed his concern for the Progressive Conservatives plans to remove the cap and trade system in Ontario if elected, saying the removal will most definitely push the province back from obtaining a sustainable future and that this system is an ideal way to create economic incentives for industries to reduce their GHG emissions (CBC News, 2018).
With the Tory leadership winning results going to Doug Ford, it’s clear that the PC’s won’t be prioritizing the cap and trade system if elected this provincial election. “Anyone in Ontario who imagines for a moment that elections don’t have consequences, think, for a moment, about my country and what is going on there right now,” Gore said during the presentation with Wynne, “I do know this: Ontario is moving forward; Ontario is making progress; Ontario is setting the standard for provincial and regional governments around the world,” (Gignac & Benzie, 2018).
So, for the cap and trade system to stay alive in Ontario, then here is to hope for a loss for Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservatives this provincial election.
CBC News. (2018, March 08). Climate Change Crusader Al Gore praises Ontario’s Cap and Trade System during Toronto Visit. Retrived March 11, 2018, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/gore-wynne-ryerson-1.4568055
Gignac, J., & Benzie, R. (2018, March 08). Al Gore Applauds Environmental Work of Premier Wynne at Ryerson Conference. Retrived March 11, 2018, from https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2018/03/08/al-gore-applauds-environmental-work-of-premier-wynne-at-ryerson-conference.html