Environmental groups release summary of party positions on environmental priorities



    Parties to debate their environmental platforms on October 3

    TORONTO, Sept. 26 /CNW/ - Today, a coalition of 13 leading environmental
organizations released a summary of the Ontario political parties'
environmental positions on six key environmental priorities: energy, Boreal
Forest protection, curbing urban sprawl, toxics, Great Lakes health and waste
reduction. It shows that the need to respond to key environmental issues has
shaped party commitments in this election.
    The groups have compiled the environmental commitments by the parties so
that voters can be better informed on October 10.
    "We have seen some real political engagement from the parties on the
environmental priorities we identified as needing swift and immediate action,"
says Dr. Rick Smith of Environmental Defence "But we still need more progress
if we are to address some of the most pressing environmental issues of our
time."
    In an unprecedented initiative launched in April 2007, the 13 member
Priorities for Ontario coalition (www.PrioritiesforOntario.ca) released a set
of priorities for action on these six key areas and challenged the parties to
include these in their platforms. All parties have, in different ways,
responded with new public commitments to protect water sources, expand clean
energy generation, safeguard Boreal Forests, reduce waste, curb urban sprawl
and eliminate toxics
    "We've cut through the jargon and clearly summarized each party's
environmental commitments so that Ontarians, who we know care a great deal
about the environment, can make an informed decision on election day and know
what to expect from the party they vote for," said Gillian McEachern of
ForestEthics.
    The environmental groups are also organizing a four-party debate
(Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, NDP and Green Party) to be held
October 3 to further explore where the parties stand on key environmental
issues and how this will shape their approach to governing the province.
    "The debate will allow the parties to speak directly to voters and
further distinguish themselves on key environmental issues and to fill in the
blanks in their platforms" said Bruce Cox of Greenpeace. "It is an opportunity
for voters to get better informed about the issues and the parties' responses
to them."

    The synopsis of environmental commitments is temporarily available at
www.glcommunications.ca/platforms and will available at
www.PrioritiesforOntario.ca by the end of today.

    The debate will take place at the Isabel Bader Theatre,
93 Charles St. W., Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2007 from 7 - 9:30 p.m. Contact Jennifer
Foulds at (416) 323-9521 ext. 232 for media access information. The public can
watch the debate live at www.PrioritiesforOntario.ca.

    The 13 environmental organizations that comprise the Priorities for
Ontario initiative are: Conservation Council of Ontario, Ecojustice Canada,
Environmental Defence, ForestEthics, Great Lakes United, Greenpeace, Ontario
Clean Air Alliance, Ontario Nature, Pembina Institute, Pollution Probe, Sierra
Club of Canada Ontario Chapter, Toronto Environmental Alliance, and CPAWS -
Wildlands League.




For further information:

For further information: Rick Smith, Environmental Defence, (416)
670-9521; Gillian McEachern, ForestEthics, (416) 938-6032; Bruce Cox,
Greenpeace, (416) 419-7341


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