08.29.2011 08:19 PM

Ontario NDP: getting dirty for votes

“In a stinging letter to Horwath, circulated to members of a green coalition, Environmental Defence executive director Rick Smith complained that her party had lost its way:

“Some of your existing policy positions are not in the best interest of environmental or human health protection,” Smith wrote last month.

“How can any party that claims to be concerned about global warming advocate de facto subsidies for buying oil and gas. This is absolutely the wrong direction.”

Significantly, Smith is a former chief of staff to the late federal NDP leader, Jack Layton, who made environmentalism a cornerstone of his campaigns in a way that Ontario New Democrats have not. The party’s former research director, Hugh Mackenzie, has also condemned its recent positions.”


  1. The Doctor says:

    Not just in Ontario, folks. The BC NDP is even worse these days for abandoning the environment. They opposed the Campbell government’s carbon tax, which is arguably the most significant piece of pro-green legislation to be adopted by any Canadian jurisdiction in recent years. The BC NDP has been throwing principles out the window like someone chucking drugs out of a car while being chased by the police. Their opposition to the HST was pure political opportunism and had zero to do with principle. Note those are the two most visible policy stances taken by the NDP recently — in both cases, the BC NDP is the anti-tax party. That says it all.

    Certain NDP poohbahs and strategists have pushed the party, both provincially and federally, to be this populist chameleon rather than a party that stands for a consistent set of principles.

    • MCBellecourt says:

      Don’t know where you’re from, Doc, but I live in BC and the carbon tax was opposed by the BC NDP because of the way it was implemented and who it would hit the hardest. Our heating costs here have skyrocketed since BC Gas became Terasen, and the last thing the hardest-hit needed was yet another increase in the price. Seniors living below the poverty line and disabled people have suffered because of this tax. What makes it equally offensive is that this so-called ‘carbon tax’ has not been used for green initiatives, but instead put into general revenues in a lame attempt by the BCfauxLiberals to bang down the financial mess they created.

      If this tax had been more fairly imposed, the NDP wouldn’t have had a problem with it. The phony liberal government here, though, couldn’t manage a diahrroea fest in a two-hole shithouse, never mind a provincial budget, and now they’re desperately grabbing money from whomever they can find unable to fight back.

      Just like they’re doing with the HST. We defeated it in a referendum, but they’re stretching it out to eighteen months to undo it, just to milk the tax cow as much as they can–and never mind the amount that goes to the feds every month from that fiasco–they’re using the 1.6 billion dollar debt as an excuse, even though, by the time eighteen months have past, the so-called ‘debt’ will have already been paid and then some.

      The BC NDP are in favour of environmental legislation, but they (and us) want legislation with some teeth, not some ill-administered tax gumming our way though our wallets.

      • The Doctor says:

        Thanks for the NDP talking points. That saves me the trouble of going to the NDP website.

        And BTW, I live in BC just like you.

        It’s interesting that you’re trying to accuse the BC Liberals of fiscal mismangement/irresponsibility. Two words for you: Glen Clark.

    • DL says:

      The environmental movement got badly burned by Campbell. They foolishly got seduced by his greenwashing carbon tax gimmick (which incidentally has not reduced greenhouse gas emissions one iota) – and then as soon as he was re-elected he slashed the ministry of the Environment by 50% and gutted environmental regulations.

  2. WDM says:

    Actually the provincial NDP approach to the environment (avoid making it a centrepiece) seems pretty much exactly like their federal counterparts the last two elections!

    • DL says:

      Let’s see, in the last two elections the NDP has gone from 29 seats to 103 using that strategy – I guess it works!!

      The fact is, the environment has totally dropped off the radar screen as an issue. There aren’t more than 2% of people who consider it a vote determining issue and they mostly vote Green – so its a waste of time to put an emphasis on it.

  3. The Doctor says:

    Oh yeah, and I call BS on this passage:

    “Significantly, Smith is a former chief of staff to the late federal NDP leader, Jack Layton, who made environmentalism a cornerstone of his campaigns in a way that Ontario New Democrats have not.”

    I know that nobody’s supposed to say anything bad about Layton these days, but come on, get serious. One of Layton’s most prominent pronouncements in the last year or so was that bit about dropping the taxes on home heating — which would have, in practical terms, made it cheaper to heat our homes with non-renewable energy. Again, it was anti-environment and anti-tax — which is apparently what today’s NDP is all about . . .

    • MCBellecourt says:

      And your leader plans to do…what?…continue to let Big Oil run roughshod over the environment, in Northern Alberta, and next the Arctic, without the checks and balances and accountability Big Oil should be held to as insurance against environmental destruction? Continue to allow the sale of asbestos to third-world nations?

      Perhaps Harper should try setting an example instead of leaving his supporters to continue making excuses for inaction. Until then, the Conservative Party and their supporters really don’t have much justification for critiquing anyone else’s environmental program.

      In other words, put your money where your mouths are.

      • The Doctor says:

        Harper isn’t “my leader”, so you have no idea what you’re talking about.

        If you want to dump on a CPC supporter, go find one, ‘kay?

      • The Doctor says:

        The upshot of your post appears to be this: as long as the CPC is doing stuff you disagree with, the NDP is exempt from criticism and gets a free pass.

        I actually think the NDP, when it does and says stupid things, should be criticized, regardless of what the CPC is doing. I guess that’s the main difference between you and me.

  4. SF Thomas says:

    I find the position of the Ontario NDP on this one odd as well. Seems mostly just for short term vote getting over better long term public policy. Aide from the potential revenue issues of lowering the HST for those items, which was already somewhat offset by a 1% reduction income tax at the bottom income bracket they have also waffled on any major commitment to green energy programs.

    I also get tired of the misinformation about the Samsung Wind and Solar deal. It is a $6.7 billion investment over about 2 decades to build wind turbines and solar panels and help transform our electricity generation infrastructure. Even if you disagree with the idea of wind and solar generation $335 million per year for new energy infrastructure is not nearly as cost intensive as the initial long term price tag would have one believe.

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