Ontario Liberal landslide could benefit the environment

TORONTO, Ontario, Canada, October 9, 2003 (ENS): Ontario Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty was elected premier of Canada's most populous province October 2 on a platform that included environmental responsibility. Environmentalists are cautiously optimistic about the McGuinty government based on campaign promises he made to shut down two coal fired generating stations by 2007 and promote renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, biomass, and small-scale hydroelectric power.

The Liberals won a resounding victory, taking 72 of Ontario Legislature's 103 seats, leaving 24 for the Conservatives, who lost their governing majority, and seven for the New Democrats.

In his acceptance speech, Premier-elect McGuinty said, "I feel the right thing for us is to invest in better schools, better health care, and better environmental protection."

McGuinty pledged to pass legislation that will enhance the protection of lands surrounding water resources and to build a network of water monitoring stations and provide reports online.

On the campaign trail, the McGuinty promised to make the provincial hazardous waste disposal rules the toughest in North America, and to immediately ban the spreading of raw human waste on farmlands.

He would divert 60 percent of waste from landfills within five years by banning organic waste, conserve open space, and promote brownfields redevelopment.

Conservative Ernie Eves lost the support of environmentalists by ignoring the environment while in government and also on the campaign trail.

While campaigning, the premier-elect promised to require that gasoline contain at least five percent clean ethanol by 2007 and 10 percent by 2010.


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