Green taxes, railway systems, and alternative power were some of the major topics of discussion at an election forum held at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education.
On September 28, the University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) and The University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU), along with Professor James Nugent from the Department of Geography & Planning, hosted this provincial election campaign’s only forum devoted to discussing environmental concerns.
While the forum was intended to include all parties, some of the major ones were noticeably absent.
“We sent out emails to all the registered parties to save the date,” Nugent explained. He went on to state that “both the Liberal party and the NDP … [said] that they would be sending someone” but cancelled at the last minute.
The representatives and panellists present when the forum began were Tim Grant of the Green Party, Rod Rojas of The Libertarians, Miguel Figueroa of the Communist Party of Canada, Guy Fogel of the Socialist Party of Ontario, and Bahman Yazdanfar of Canada’s Choice Party. About halfway through the forum Kevin Clark from the People’s Political Party arrived.
The event started off with five-minute introductions by each of the panellists, then moved on to the discussion of previously submitted questions, and ended with an open question and answer session.
“We need a dramatically better railway system,” were the words constantly repeated by Fogel on behalf of the Socialist Party.
Fogel added that “the Socialist Party [also] supports creating an electrical network to recharge electrical and hybrid cars.”
One point that all of the candidates agreed upon was that nuclear energy in Canada would be non-existent if the government hadn’t decided to step in.
Grant expanded on the issue: “George Smitherman, before he ran for mayor, was energy minister, and he did one thing that no other energy minister in Ontario had done. When he called for bids for new nuclear plants, he said ‘Only submit a bid that shows that you’re going to include cost overruns.’”
“The only bid was the atomic energy control board — the federal crown corporation that’s now being privatized. [Smithermman] went to the federal government and said ‘We need you to accept the cost overruns,’” he continued.
The Ontario provincial election will take place on Thursday, October 6.