New poll shows strong support for Green Energy Act and renewable energy
across the province, including in areas where wind power has seemed
controversialTORONTO, April 26 /CNW/ - A vast majority of Ontarians support Ontario's
proposed Green Energy Act, according to a public opinion poll released today
by a coalition of environmental groups, farmers, labour unions, and industry
associations. Eighty seven per cent (87%) of respondents said they support the
proposed Green Energy Act. The poll shows support is widespread across the
province, with the highest support in Northern Ontario (93%), Toronto (89%),
and the GTA/905 (88%)
"It's not surprising that a majority of Ontario would support the Green
Energy Act. It puts Ontarians ahead of the game in protecting the environment
and investing in the green economy," said Deb Doncaster, Executive Director of
the Community Power Fund. "What is surprising is how widespread the support
is. In every region of Ontario there is strong support for the Green Energy
The poll also shows strong support in regions where proposed renewable
energy projects are considered controversial. Both Scarborough and Essex
County residents showed high levels of support for the Green Energy Act, 92
and 86 per cent respectively. Support in Scarborough was a full 4 per cent
above the provincial average level of support for the Green Energy Act itself.
"News reports would have us believe that Scarborough is a hotbed of
anti-wind sentiment, but the poll clearly shows that this is manufactured and
exaggerated," said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director of Environmental
Defence. "Plans to test the offshore wind potential are supported by a
majority of those living in Scarborough who want to see renewable energy in
Seventy-nine per cent (79%) of Scarborough residents support Toronto
Hydro's plan to put a wind measuring device off the Scarborough shore, while
84 per cent of Essex County residents support plans to build wind farms there.
"What we're seeing in Essex County and Scarborough is not only strong
support for the Green Energy Act, but strong support for local wind energy
initiatives," said Dan Arnold of Pollara.
Ontarians who took part in the poll see the main long-term benefits of
the Act as a reduction in Ontario's greenhouse gas emissions (36%) and the
creation of green jobs (19%). Over three quarters of respondents (78%) believe
that the Green Energy Act will have a positive impact on Ontario's job market.
Ontarians are also willing to invest in green energy themselves. Twenty
six per cent (26%) said they would be very likely to invest in solar panels on
their own roof, 21 per cent said they would be very likely to invest in local
wind farms and 18 per cent said they would be very likely to invest in local
Pollara conducted a telephone survey of Ontarians on the Green Energy Act
between March 13 and April 9, 2009. In total, 1,203 interviews were completed,
resulting in an overall margin of error of +/- 2.8%, 19 times out of 20.
During this same time period, two additional telephone surveys were conducted
in Essex County and Scarborough, of sample sizes 301 and 305, respectively.
They each carry a margin of error of +/- 5.6%, 19 times out of 20.
The poll results are available on the Green Energy Act Alliance web site
About the Green Energy Act Alliance: The Alliance's vision is to make
Ontario a global leader in green energy development through the use of
renewable energy, distributed energy and conservation, creating thousands of
jobs, economic prosperity, energy security, while ensuring climate protection.
Founding groups include: the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, Community
Power Fund, the David Suzuki Foundation, Environmental Defence, the First
Nations Energy Alliance, the Ivey Foundation, the Ontario Federation of
Agriculture and the Pembina Institute. www.greenenergyact.ca.
For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232, (647)
280-9521 (cell); Deb Doncaster, Community Power Fund, (416) 824-4866 (cell)