Throne Speech promises more green energy, legislation to reduce toxics
TORONTO, ONT-Ontario's recently re-elected Liberal government has pledged a number of initiatives to make the province greener. The Speech from the Throne opening the first session of the 39th parliament committed Premier Dalton McGuinty's government to double renewable energy production and conservation to replace coal generation and to invest in more rapid transit through MoveOntario 2020, a historic expansion of public transit. The speech also included a pledge to continue working toward meeting Ontario's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 6% below 1990 levels by 2014, 15% below by 2020, and 80% below by 2050. As a further climate change initiative, the government also promised to work with northern and native communities in Ontario's far north to implement a plan for protecting the boreal forest. Other environment-related commitments in the Throne speech included: new toxic reduction legislation to reduce pollution from toxic substances and to ban the cosmetic use of pesticides in urban areas; and action to protect water quality in Lake Simcoe. As part of the toxics reduction initiative, the Premier announced plans to appoint an expert medical and scientific advisory panel to recommend which toxins should be the focus of immediate attention, action and reductions as the new legislation is developed.