It is bad enough that the government allows multinational companies to privatize a public resource, it is even worse that taxpayers are being hosed by charging so little for it. Several industries get a total free ride when it comes to taking our water. Those who do pay for taking water are charged a paltry $3.71 per million litres used. This is not a typo.
It seems that every day I hear a story in which the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) is the villain. Whether it's a ruling that threatens our health and environment or one that ignores fair process and transparency, the OMB has figured out how to upset more people more of the time than any other agency out there.
I'm deeply disappointed by the news that Heinz is closing its Leamington processing plant. For over 100 years that plant made ketchup from tomatoes grown on Ontario farms. Support for local food processing is not only about securing jobs, it's also about investing in the economy we want. The Liberal government must take action to support our food processing sector.
Citizens vote, not corporations or unions. Yet, if you look at who funds Ontario's three old-line parties at Queen's Park, you might think otherwise. Canadian democracy week is the perfect time to tell politicians at Queen's Park that our democracy should not go to the highest bidder. We need a ban on corporate and union donations to political parties.
Line 9 is a 38-year-old pipeline running between Sarnia and Montreal. It runs through 115 communities and under prime farmland, and crosses major river systems that flow into Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. A spill could put the drinking water of millions of Ontarians at risk. And a spill will happen.
Ontario's environment took a beating during Canadian Environment Week. The Liberal Cabinet had decided to gut Ontario's Endangered Species Act. Then the ECO's annual report on climate change revealed that the Liberals will not meet Ontario's greenhouse gas reduction targets. Ontario can't afford to delete environmental protections.
Before you invest in a house or a car you look at your available options. You weigh the pros and cons to see what has the best bang for your buck and you make your choice. The Liberal government has already wasted millions re-locating gas plants and now they are set to spend billions on nuclear. We can and must do better.
Does this wacky weather have you concerned? Record high temperatures, floods, superstorms, and drought -- climate change has landed squarely on our front doorstep. I'm concerned. I think most of us know that we have to take action, but unfortunately the political establishment has its head buried in the sand.
It's a sad reality that as we gather with our families and friends this holiday season to share a meal, there are far too many who will go hungry. A healthy food system benefits our economy, health and communities. It enriches our quality of life. Let's put reducing hunger and a strong local sustainable food system at the top of our wish list for 2013.