Provincial Environmental Election Questionnaire – 2022

The Ontario Environmental Priorities Working Group represents 13 organizations working to improve life for Ontarians by ensuring a healthy environment and healthy planet. Together, we have developed a blueprint for the changes the next Ontario government needs to make to ensure a prosperous, healthy and sustainable province. We have made this blueprint available to all parties represented in the Ontario Legislature directly and have asked them to respond to our questionnaire. Below are their answers.

GREEN: Yes. As our Roadmap to Net Zero shows, Ontario Greens will protect 25% of Ontario by 2025 and 30% by 2030, especially areas of particular importance for water and animals, by working with Indigenous communities. Ontario Greens have pledged $1 billion for Indigenous climate leadership, and to give priority and respect to Indigenous Protected and Conserved areas.

LIB: Yes. An Ontario Liberal government will designate 30% of Ontario’s land and water as protected areas by 2030 in alignment with Canada’s international commitments.

NDP: Ontarians are proud of our province’s vast forests, pristine farmland and abundant freshwater. But these resources are increasingly at risk. In the last 100 years, the province has lost 73 per cent of its natural habitats, including forests, fields, wetlands and marshes. An NDP government will work with Indigenous peoples and the federal government, as well as community, business and environmental stakeholders, to meet Canada’s 2030 target of 30% protection.

PC: No answer received yet.  

GREEN: Yes. As our Roadmap shows, Ontario Greens will strengthen and enforce the Endangered Species Act. We will restore protection for endangered species and the original science-based system (Endangered Species Act, 2007) for determining species status. We will restore mandatory habitat protection. We will overturn the Ford government’s broad exemptions that allow forestry, mining etc. to damage species and their habitat. We will ensure that economic development activities respect species’ tolerance limits for habitat disturbance. We will restore public accountability and reporting on endangered species’ status and recovery.

LIB: Yes, an Ontario Liberal government will strengthen Ontario’s Endangered Species Act. We are committed to adopting a science-based approach to species recovery. To do so, we will repeal the Ford government’s harmful changes to legislation related to conservation, land use planning, and endangered species. Our government will strengthen the power of Ontario’s Conservation Authorities so that they can be leaders in protecting their communities from floods and other natural disasters, preserve biodiversity and species at risk, and maintain the sanctity of green spaces, farmland, wetlands, and sources of drinking water.

NDP: The Ford government weakened the Endangered Species Act, and politicized appointments to the expert scientific committees advising on species-at-risk. The Ford government also introduced unscientific “pay to slay” schemes allowing developers to destroy irreplaceable protected habitats in exchange for a fee. An NDP government would reverse these harmful changes, and ensure that Ontario’s protections for species-at-risk are based on science and the public interest, not the special interests of Doug Ford’s friends and donors.

PC: No answer received yet.

GREEN: Yes. As our Roadmap shows, Ontario Greens will protect natural areas that play a key role in climate mitigation, such as the boreal forest and the peatlands of the Hudson Bay Lowland. Our Roadmap highlights the extensive steps we will take to protect biodiversity hotspots and carbon areas. Ontario Greens will work with Indigenous communities to manage these carbon-rich areas. We will give priority and respect to Indigenous Protected and Conserved areas, in priority to extractive industries such as forestry and mining. Our investments over 4 years will include:
  • $1 billion to support Indigenous climate leadership, including establishing and managing protected areas.
  • $500 million to expand protected areas, greenspace, parks and nature in cities
  • $1 billion for water protection including source water, lakes and restoring funding for Conservation Authorities
  • $500 million for planting trees and forestry strategy

LIB: Yes. Natural areas play a vital role as we ramp up our effort to reduce Ontario’s greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate the climate crisis and protect biodiversity. Preserving their sanctity will be of paramount importance now and in the future. Indigenous communities have traditionally been the stewards of the lands and waters of Ontario. They have the hereditary connections, lived experiences, and wisdom with respect to the soil, water, trees, and animals of this province. An Ontario Liberal government will partner with Indigenous leaders, elders, and community members in the spirit of reconciliation and in good faith to mitigate the climate crisis by protecting natural areas such as the boreal forest, local wetlands, and the peatlands of the Hudson Bay Lowland.

NDP: An NDP government will work with Indigenous peoples, as well as community, business and environmental stakeholders, to ensure proper, science-based protections today and for the future for Ontario’s natural areas, including the boreal forest and the peatlands of the Hudson Bay Lowland.

PC: No answer received yet.

GREEN: Yes. As our Roadmap shows, Ontario Greens support the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Ontario. We will pass a United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

LIB: Yes. The Ontario Liberal Party believes that we must adhere to UNDRIP and must do so in a proactive manner. We recognize the importance of responding to the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We believe that having a provincial action plan and annual progress reports developed in consultation with Indigenous peoples in Ontario will be critical to the success of our reconciliation efforts.

The Ontario Liberal caucus in the provincial legislature has been supportive and voted for Bill 76: United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, 2019. An Ontario Liberal government will act expeditiously on passing and implementing this Bill in collaboration with representatives of the Indigenous communities and other key stakeholders inside and outside of the legislature.

NDP: Yes. In 2019, NDP MPP Sol Mamakwa tabled Bill 76, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, which would ensure that Ontario’s laws are consistent with UNDRIP.

PC: No answer received yet.

GREEN: As our Roadmap shows, Ontario Greens are the only party who will reduce climate pollution enough to protect a stable climate, i.e. to stay within 1.5 º. Our detailed Roadmap to Net Zero is built on a science-based Fair Share Carbon Budget for the rest of the century. The Roadmap shows how Ontario can confidently cut greenhouse gas emissions 51.2% by 2030, 70.2% by 2035, and100% (i.e. to net zero) from 2045 to 2100. This will clean up the air, keep $billions in Ontario’s economy and create hundreds of thousands of green jobs. Even faster reductions, i.e. to 60% by 2030, may be achievable as technology improves and costs decline. We are the only party whose climate pollution reductions will be real. Other parties rely on just planting trees (“offsets”) and hope they survive the next 100 years of fires, floods, droughts, pests and storms. The Roadmap shows, in detail, how we will achieve this transformation to the new climate economy. It includes:
  • Stopping sprawl and new highways, the largest causes of Ontario’s climate pollution.
  • Increasing the price on carbon (climate pollution) by $25 per tonne per year, reaching $300 per tonne in 2032.
  • Doubling Ontario’s electricity supply with clean renewables and storage.
  • Turning road space into safe space for people walking, biking and rolling.
  • Tripling transit use with road pricing, dedicated bus lanes and 4000 new zero-emission buses.
  • Massively scaling up building retrofits and a leading edge Building Code to build new buildings right.
  • Levelling the playing field by redirecting subsidies away from fossil fuels.
  • Stopping fossil fuel lock-in: no new fossil fuel pipelines; no new gas-fired furnaces after 2025.
  • One year’s free college tuition and guaranteed green jobs.
  • Grants and a Climate Bank to help Ontario clean tech innovators become global leaders and job creators in the rapidly emerging multi-trillion dollar zero-carbon economy. By showing global leadership, we can attract international investment again, create new careers with better jobs and help build a robust economy.
  • Public reports on annual net emissions and the remaining Fair Share Carbon Budget

LIB: An Ontario Liberal government will cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. After extensive consultations and modeling, we have a robust, costed and accounted plan to reach this deep and attainable goal. We will achieve this reduction by taking the following sets of actions:

  • Require industrial and manufacturing sectors to cut their emissions further by strengthening the Emissions Performance Standards in line with our 2030 target.
  • Create a robust carbon offset system to support businesses that reduce their pollution while fostering innovative carbon-cutting solutions.
  • Reinvest the revenue from the carbon pricing system in a Green Jobs Fund of grants, tax credits, and loan guarantees to support cleantech and deep industrial emission reductions.
  • Cut current methane levels in half and implement a methane performance standard for Ontario’s natural gas.
  • Transition as quickly as possible to a fully clean energy supply while maintaining reliability and affordability, including by banning new natural gas plants, and phasing out our reliance on gas for baseload power.
  • Support projects with Indigenous and Northern communities that reduce reliance on diesel and drive electrification in the remote north.
  • Protect and restore Ontario’s rivers, lakes, wetlands, and watersheds.
  • Build a more resilient and sustainable agricultural sector by supporting best practices that maximize carbon storage.
  • Divert and recycle 60% of waste from landfills by 2030 and 85% by 2050.
  • Implement a landfill ban for food and organic waste – requiring Green Bin programs to work with farmers and fuel producers to harness organic waste for renewable natural gas.
  • Update the Ontario Building Code to ensure that all new buildings and renovations are built to leading energy-efficiency and climate resiliency standards by 2025.
  • Provide people and small businesses with interest-free loans and grants to make high-performance energy and climate-resiliency retrofits.
  • Make a record-level investment in building new public transit infrastructure, lowering the cost and improving the frequency of transit services, and maintaining existing transit infrastructure in a state of good repair.
  • Introducing a rebate of up to $8,000 on the purchase or lease of a non-luxury electric vehicle and $1,500 for charging equipment.
  • Rapidly expand the availability of vehicle charging stations in buildings, parking lots, city streets, and all OnRoute and GO stations.
  • Mandate that at least 60% of all new passenger vehicles sold in Ontario are zero-emission by 2030 and 100% by 2035.
  • Create zero-emission vehicle mandates for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles in collaboration with industry.
  • Promote the use of sustainable alternative fuels in shipping, trucking, and aviation.
  • Electrify all GO trains, public transit, and school buses.
  • Introduce a $500 rebate for e-bikes.
  • Build separated bike lanes and cycling trails, expand bike-sharing and rental services, and secure bike parking.
  • Plant 800 million trees over the next 8 years.
  • Invest $250 million annually to restore and expand natural infrastructure such as wetlands as well as to support communities in becoming more resilient to extreme weather.
  • Mandate climate risk reporting and disclosures for public companies.
  • Make the Ontario government net-zero by 2030, reducing emissions from public service infrastructure and procurement.
  • Demonstrate transparency in our progress and accountability for our results through an independent Environmental Commissioner.
  • Create an all-party Cabinet committee to find new ways to tackle pollution to accelerate the path to reaching emission reduction targets.

NDP: In 2021, the Ontario NDP released its Green New Democratic Deal. This bold, comprehensive and achievable plan will see large-scale retrofits to bring our building sector to net zero, electrification of transportation, reinstituting cap and trade, and the use of provincial purchasing power to change our energy system. We expect this to create millions of well-paying jobs and protections for all Ontario workers. Our commitment is to reduce emissions from 2005 levels by at least 50% by 2030, and to achieve net-zero by 2050 or earlier. We will institute a carbon budgeting system for the province with a reinstituted Environmental Commissioner auditing the project on a yearly basis. The plan is based on the values of equity, affordability, and reconciliation — and the principle of a just transition – where nobody, and no community, will be left behind. The plan can be found at

PC: No answer received yet.

GREEN: As our Roadmap shows, Ontario Greens will eliminate gas-fired electricity the fastest way compatible with minimizing Ontario’s total climate pollution. We will phase out fossil gas as quickly as possible, aiming for 2030, and double Ontario’s electricity supply with renewables by 2040. We will prioritize investment in cost-effective renewable energy and energy efficiency efforts as part of creating an efficient, flexible and zero carbon electricity system. That is why our Roadmap includes:
  • Easy financing so people and businesses can retrofit their homes and install clean, high-efficiency electric equipment, e.g. air and ground source heat pumps and solar panels.
  • Targeted subsidies to help low-income families replace baseboard heating with high efficiency heat pumps.
  • Seasonal electricity storage with green hydrogen made with surplus power.
  • Bi-directional EV charging to bring costs down and meet peak electricity needs.
  • Work with Indigenous Peoples to site essential electricity transmission lines.

LIB: Under an Ontario Liberal government, Ontario will transition as quickly as possible to a fully clean energy supply while maintaining reliability and affordability. We will ban new natural gas plants and eventually phase out our reliance on gas for baseload power.

As part of our effort to create an efficient, flexible, and zero-carbon electricity system, we’ll eliminate set-up connection fees for rooftop solar charging panels and bidirectional vehicle charging.

Our government will develop a long-term energy plan that includes the right, cost-effective mix of nuclear, hydroelectricity, and renewable sources of energy while reversing the Ford government’s cuts to energy conservation programs.

We will implement a methane performance standard for Ontario’s natural gas to reduce emissions from home heating and advance the increased use of renewable natural gas. Similar to the recently released unpublished scenario in the Independent Electricity System Operator’s report on phasing out natural gas in Ontario by 2030, we expect that by investing in energy storage, low-cost renewables, and energy efficiency, we will decrease costs for ratepayers while reducing our carbon pollution.

NDP: An NDP government will phase out gas-fired generation, achieving net-zero emissions by 2030.

PC: No answer received yet.

GREEN: Yes. As our Roadmap shows, Ontario Greens are the only party serious about stopping car-dependent sprawl. We will immediately cancel Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass. We will enforce existing urban boundaries, create no new car-dependent neighborhoods, eliminate subsidies for sprawl and ensure that urban growth transforms Ontario’s existing car-dependent neighborhoods and commercial areas into complete communities where most trips are made by public transit and active transportation. That will allow us to permanently protect precious prime agricultural land, currently being lost to sprawl, highways and gravel mining, and smartly expand the Greenbelt. Instead, we will provide ample housing in compact, clean, connected, affordable communities within existing urban boundaries. We will accelerate construction of infill housing, particularly missing middle and affordable housing, and public greenspace. This will allow Ontarians a better quality of life, with better air quality, better health, lower municipal taxes and easier commutes.

LIB: An Ontario Liberal government will stop Highway 413 which is Doug Ford’s reward for his billionaire friends which will pave over thousands of acres of environmentally sensitive areas while also destroying prime farmlands. Instead, our government will invest that $10 billion to build new and repair existing schools ensuring that our students can learn in energy-efficient, climate-resilient, state-of-the-art educational facilities, including improved ventilation.

We'll pause any further work on the proposed Bradford Bypass until a new environmental assessment is done – since the current assessment hasn’t been updated since 1997. If this assessment fails to meet environmental and community standards, we’ll stop the Bradford Bypass just like Highway 413.

We are committed to building complete, integrated, resilient, walkable, accessible, and safe neighborhoods with access to fast, reliable, and affordable public transit systems, recreational amenities (parks, trails, community centres, urban green space), active transportation facilities such as protected bike paths as well as critical public infrastructures such as hospitals, schools, and childcare centres.

We will also make record-level investments in building new public transit infrastructure, lower the cost and improve the user experience and frequency of transit.

More homes need to be built, but we can’t just keep spreading further and further out – encroaching on farmlands, wetlands and other greenspaces. We need to add more family-friendly housing options to the communities where people already live, which means restoring urban intensification requirements that the Ford Conservatives weakened. Preventing urban sprawl will also help Ontarians live closer to the places they work and enjoy – meaning less time commuting and less traffic.

NDP: Yes. Investigative reports have revealed that the main beneficiaries of Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass are well-connected developers who are also friends and donors of Doug Ford and the PC Party. These gifts to political insiders will cost taxpayers over $10 billion, while destroying the Greenbelt and prime farmland — and will only result in more traffic congestion over the long-term, not less. Public infrastructure should serve the public interest, not Doug Ford’s developer buddies. An NDP government will cancel these unnecessary and costly highways, and instead use the billions saved for healthcare, education and public transit. It’s not just highways where Doug Ford has put his thumb on the planning scale. The Ford government has upended the land use planning system with politically-driven Minister’s Zoning Orders benefitting his buddies, and a new growth plan that forces municipalities to sacrifice even more precious farmland to costly and unsustainable sprawl. An NDP will government will work with municipalities to reform land use planning rules to encourage and accelerate the construction of homes in complete communities close to transit, schools, healthcare, grocery stores, and recreation centers. We will end exclusionary zoning and ensure an adequate supply of different housing options that are affordable, meet the diverse needs of different families, and are located where people want to live. We will ensure responsible development within existing urban boundaries, while protecting farmland and natural heritage from costly, irresponsible and wasteful sprawl. This includes aligning growth with transit investments, and updating zoning rules to enable the construction of affordable “missing middle” housing – like duplexes, triplexes and townhomes — wherever residential development is allowed. The NDP’s updated housing platform, Homes You Can Afford, can be found here:

PC: No answer received yet.

GREEN: Yes. Ontario Greens will put an immediate moratorium on new and expanded gravel mines. Instead, we will encourage aggregate recycling and minimize aggregate use by improving the Building Code, stopping sprawl and building with wood. We will immediately stop building new highways. They pave over essential wetlands and farmland and turbo-charge sprawl while making the climate and housing affordability crisis worse.

LIB: We recognize that insufficient oversight over gravel mining can create harmful impacts on our air, soil, and bodies of water. We’ll strengthen oversight and environmental protections over gravel and aggregate mining before approving new mines.

Aggregate recycling can help us reduce our dependence on new pits and quarries. Therefore, we will modernize outdated and ineffective requirements for waste management and recycling in the industrial, commercial, and institutional sector, which accounts for 60% of waste generated in the province. By streamlining waste management system in Ontario to build a waste-free province and to advance a circular economy – work that has been all but abandoned by the Ford government – we can also reduce the need for new aggregate mining sites.

NDP: Aggregates are vital for building housing and infrastructure, and it is crucial that Ontario have reliable supplies of this important resource. However, Ontario currently lacks an evidence-based strategy to govern new aggregate pit and quarry approvals. In fact, Ontario already has access to more than enough aggregates under existing approvals to meet Ontario’s needs for many years to come. Before any new approvals are issued, Ontario should develop a science-based aggregates strategy to ensure Ontario’s long-term supply while protecting farmland, groundwater and the environment — and encouraging the use of recycled aggregates. An NDP government will develop this strategy in consultation with industry and community stakeholders, Indigenous communities, municipalities, scientists and other experts. And as mentioned, the Ontario NDP will cancel the costly and unnecessary Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass, which threaten Ontario’s farmland and needlessly drive up the demand for aggregates.

PC: No answer received yet.

GREEN: Yes. As our Roadmap shows, Ontario Greens will restore powers to Conservation Authorities so these agencies can get back to doing their jobs. Protecting provincially significant wetlands and flood plains protects everyone from flooding.

LIB: Yes, we’ll bring more lands under the Greenbelt’s protection in close collaboration with local and Indigenous communities and farmers and strengthen the powers of Ontario’s Conservation Authorities to provide them with the tools and resources they need to prevent flooding and protect our natural resources.

NDP: Yes.

PC: No answer received yet.

GREEN: Yes. As our Roadmap shows, Ontario Greens will ensure that at least 15% of infrastructure spending goes to green infrastructure, that is to natural ecosystem features and materials, such as rivers, native plants and soil. We will establish a dedicated $200 million fund plus a Green Infrastructure Support Hub to support long-term planning, delivery, and maintenance of green infrastructure projects, e.g. in storm water management, parks, natural heritage systems protection, habitat enhancement and creation.

LIB: Yes. Investing in the development of climate resilient infrastructure not only helps us to reduce our carbon footprint but also creates many new jobs and unlocks economic opportunities.

One of the ways we’ll support green infrastructure development in this province is by making the Government of Ontario net-zero by 2030. This will require emission reductions from public service infrastructure and procurement. We’ll retrofit schools, hospitals, colleges, universities, social housing, and other public sector buildings to make them energy-efficient and climate-resilient. This goal will also facilitate leveraging made-in-Ontario clean technologies and issuing more green bonds.

Building green infrastructure requires considerable investment. Every dollar of revenue that Ontario will earn from industrial carbon pricing plan under an Ontario Liberal government will be reinvested into bringing down emissions through a made-in-Ontario Green Jobs Fund. These investments will create new green jobs by advancing cleantech and developing climate-resilient infrastructure.

Developing climate-resilient infrastructure involves adopting a holistic approach. Therefore, we’ll make necessary investments in water infrastructure, operations and maintenance where needed. Our government will also support communities in becoming more resilient to extreme weather and build natural infrastructure through a new $250 million annual fund.

We’ll drive clean electrification in Northern Ontario reducing dependence on fossil fuels and their carbon footprint. We’ll support completion of the Wataynikaneyap Transmission Project, one of the largest First Nations-led infrastructure projects in Canadian history. Part of our effort to building climate resilient infrastructure also involves making our homes more sustainable. For instance, heating contributes to about 20% of Ontario’s total emissions – and most homes are not prepared for more frequent flooding. Therefore, we’ll provide easy to access grants of up to $3,000 and interest-free loans for people and small businesses to make high-performance energy and climate-resiliency retrofits, including new windows, insulation, heat pumps, and flood protection.

We’ll require each Conservation Authority to appoint a Chief Climate Resilience Officer that will work with its local municipalities to accelerate action on resilience, including restoring and expanding natural infrastructure through dedicated provincial funding that will increase our resilience to climate change through flooding, storms, heat waves and forest fires, like wetlands, rain gardens, firebreaks, permeable surfaces and green roofs.

NDP: Yes.

PC: No answer received yet.

GREEN: Yes. As our Roadmap shows, Ontario Greens endorse a source to tap approach to protecting water quality and quantity. We will restore provincial funding for source water protection under the Clean Water Act, and expand drinking water source protection to northern, remote and Indigenous communities. We will properly control water takings to protect community supplies. We will keep pollution out of water by updating and enforcing standards for major sources and pollutants, including:
  • Combined sewer overflows.
  • Persistent toxic substances from industry and consumers.
  • Manure, fertilizers and pesticides from agriculture and cities.
  • Road salt.
  • Plastics, microbeads and microfibres.
  • Lead.
Our $1 billion for Indigenous climate leadership, including respecting Indigenous Protected and Conserved areas, will help Indigenous communities to protect the huge intact watersheds in the far north.

LIB: An Ontario Liberal government will work closely with municipalities and Indigenous communities to protect and restore Ontario’s rivers, lakes, wetlands and watersheds – including Moose Cree First Nation and Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug.

We’ll clean up the mercury contamination in the St. Clair and English-Wabigoon River system and reduce pollution in Lake Simcoe and the Great Lakes – including lowering road salt runoff harming aquatic ecosystems.

We’ll work closely with Indigenous, federal and municipal partners to end all boil water advisories in all First Nations and Northern communities in Ontario, making necessary investments in water infrastructure, operations and maintenance where needed. We’ll also help municipalities install microplastic filtration in drinking and wastewater systems. We will work on reducing phosphorus pollution in Lake Simcoe and the Great Lakes, and protect the Far North by continuing the work to update, fund, and implement the policy goals of the Great Lakes Protection Act, Lake Simcoe Protection Act, and the Far North Act. This important work was abandoned by the Ford government.

NDP: Yes.

PC: No answer received yet.

GREEN: Yes. As our Roadmap shows, Ontario Greens will strengthen and expand environmental assessment, including cumulative and regional assessment. This includes:
  • Restoring automatic environmental assessment of public-sector projects, plans and policies, including timber management on Crown lands.
  • Including private sector projects that will have long term environmental impacts, including mining and smelters.
  • Ensuring all assessments consider climate impacts and mitigation (i.e. GHG emission reductions,) and are consistent with Ontario’s Fair Share Carbon Budget.

LIB: An Ontario Liberal government will act decisively to drive down the pollution in our air, water, and land. We will also review the effectiveness of the existing cumulative assessment framework in conjunction with a broader review of existing air pollution regulations and enforcement mechanisms to ensure we reduce pollution especially in communities living next to heavily industrialized areas.

For any proposed development, we’ll also require transparent consultations with affected residents, local groups and Indigenous communities. We’ll subject any provincial decisions on such permits to judicial review so that concerned citizens can ensure that the government’s decisions are aligned with the principles of environmental protection and relevant legislation.

NDP: Yes.

PC: No answer received yet.

GREEN: Yes. As our Roadmap shows, Ontario Greens will:
  • Adopt clear, stringent and enforceable extended producer responsibility standards for waste and packaging and extend them to workplaces, schools and public places (the industrial, commercial and institutional sector that creates the majority of Ontario waste.)
  • Set and enforce high recycling and management targets for all printed paper and packaging (blue box) materials, with a minimum target of 85% for plastics by 2030. Burning plastic in the guise of fuel will not count as “recycling”.
  • Establish a deposit-return system for beverage cartons, refillable glass containers and reusable plastic containers, starting with bottles, cups, bags and food takeout containers.
  • Ban unnecessary single-use plastics such as straws.
  • Ban food waste and other organic materials from landfills.
  • Set durability standards so that goods are designed to last.

LIB: Ontario is one of the largest creators of waste per person in the entire world. At current rates we’ll run out of landfill capacity in the next 11 to 14 years. As a province, we need to waste less and reuse more.

We’ll divert and recycle 60% of waste from landfills by 2030 and 85% by 2050. We’ll update ineffective waste management and recycling in industrial and commercial sectors and hold polluters accountable for their waste.

We’ll also expand the list of products that can be recycled in Blue Bins and implement a landfill ban for food and organic waste. We’ll require Green Bin programs to work with farmers and fuel producers to harness organic waste for renewable natural gas and reduce methane emissions.

Finally, we’ll prevent plastic products from becoming pollution in the first place by restricting certain harmful single-use products, establishing strong standards for plastics – including recyclable content requirements and encouraging businesses to use packaging made from biomass-based polymers.

Ontario Liberals are committed to improving the provincial landfill diversion rate, eliminating plastic pollution, reducing e-waste and building the circular economy. We will make polluters accountable by enhancing and expanding full producer responsibility requirements for waste generated in the residential sector.

NDP: Yes.

PC: No answer received yet.

GREEN: Yes. As our Roadmap shows, Ontario Greens will protect people from toxic pollution. We will:
  • Require full disclosure of toxic ingredients in consumer products, including fragrances, fast fashion, textiles, cosmetics and personal care products, and flame retardants in furniture.
  • Establish and enforce industry sector standards for air and water pollution that protect health.
    • Require government to consider cumulative effects when setting pollution standards and issuing permits.
    • Require industry to virtually eliminate pollution of air and water with persistent toxic substances, as the government promised to do decades ago.
  • Update health standards for substances of greatest concern, such as PFAS[1] “forever chemicals”, lead and tritium in drinking water, nitrous oxides (NOx) and fine particulates (PM2.5) in outdoor air, and CO2 and radon in indoor air.
  • Ban the sale, manufacture, import and distribution of PFAS in food packaging; prohibit the use of PFAS in firefighting foam; and adopt strong PFAS drinking-water standards (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances).

LIB: We will review current toxics policies in Ontario, such as the repeal of the Toxics Reduction Program, to understand gaps in the harmonization with federal government Chemical Management Plan, and to see how Ontario can work to ensure toxins are reduced from our natural environment and enhance product labelling.

NDP: Yes.

PC: No answer received yet.

GREEN: Yes. As our Roadmap shows, Ontario Greens will:
  • Establish higher standards for air and water pollution in areas where vulnerable communities are exposed to cumulative health risks from multiple industries (environmental justice).
  • Improve environmental equity mapping and use it in pollution permitting decisions.
  • Increase real-time air monitoring across the province, prioritizing communities with higher levels of pollution, and creating a community notification program to provide real-time data and alerts.
  • Give residents in vulnerable neighbourhoods a right to be heard by the leaders of industries that expose them to dangerous pollution.

LIB: We will work quickly to reduce air pollution from heavily industrialized areas, while also ensuring impacted communities have access to good quality real-time data. We will also review the current penalties regime to ensure bad actors are punished.

Forests help soak up pollution and keep our air clean and a lack of trees, especially in our cities, creates a heating effect and makes us more vulnerable to flooding. We’ll plant 800 million trees over the next eight years as part of the national commitment to 2 billion – focused on restoring ecosystems and protecting drinking water. Planting this many trees will be the equivalent of taking 500,000 cars off the road and will create 2,000 green jobs for graduating students who want to dedicate a year toward nature-based solutions and engaging local communities on climate action.

We will also make a record-level investment in new public transit infrastructure. We will provide transit agencies with operational funding (an additional $375 million annually) to maintain reliable and frequent service. We will strengthen regional transit and invest in establishing and revitalizing public transit in rural, Northern (restoring passenger railway service to the North)and remote communities. We’ll cut fares and make public transit the cheapest mode of transportation for the people of Ontario. Moreover, our government will encourage biking and strengthen bike infrastructure and safety. All of these will help us reduce emissions from cars and will keep our air clean.

NDP: Yes.

PC: No answer received yet.

GREEN: Yes. As our Roadmap shows, Ontario Greens will restore the pesticides classification system and the pesticides advisory committee. We will also protect pollinators and people by ending the outdoor use of neonicotinoid pesticides and restrict other pesticides that harm pollinators.

LIB: Protecting pollinators is something the Ontario Liberal party takes very seriously. We will bring back the pesticides advisory committee and ensure we have a strong regulatory regime in place to monitor usage. We will reduce and ultimately phase out the use of neonics pesticides, while also encouraging regenerative agriculture and biodiversity restoration.

NDP: An NDP government will work with farmers and community stakeholders to develop science-based regulations to reduce the outdoor use of neonics as much as possible.

PC: No answer received yet.

GREEN: As our Roadmap shows, Ontario Greens are committed to Succeeding Together, leaving no one behind. In addition to the measures to reduce toxic pollution of overburdened communities listed in Q.15, the Roadmap has extensive measures to benefit low income and vulnerable communities, including:
  • Focusing at least 25% of the overall benefits of public investments to reduce climate pollution on disadvantaged communities (See Succeeding Together).
  • A climate bonus and higher minimum wage (See Succeeding Together).
  • Free transit for those receiving public assistance (See Transportation and Clean, safe ways to get around).
  • Increased access to safe active transportation and compact communities (See Transportation and Clean, safe ways to get around).
  • Green workforce programs (See Green workforce).
  • Improving tree cover and public greenspace in underserved areas.
  • Conservation subsidies for retrofits that reduce energy use for those unduly affected by the cost of energy. (See Succeeding Together), and
  • Supports for growing healthy local food (See Local and sustainable food) Our $2 billion per-year Climate Adaptation Fund will increase climate change resiliency, improve quality of life and create thousands of new jobs, especially for those most vulnerable.
To improve health and environmental justice and to leave no one behind, the new climate economy must measure its progress by more than money. Ontario Greens will replace the Gross Domestic Product as the key metric of government success with a Canadian Index of Wellbeing that will measure health, community vitality, living standards, leisure and culture, time use, education and demographic engagement. Two related GPO policies will also be of particular benefit to low income and vulnerable communities:

LIB: We’ll apply a climate equity lens to ensure that low-income, vulnerable and equity-deserving communities are supported through and included in our transition to a cleaner, greener province and economy. Our investments in climate action will create green jobs which we’ll prepare people for through no-cost access to new apprenticeships, training and skills building programs. The design of our climate action programs also takes into consideration the needs of low-income and vulnerable communities, such as retrofit grants rather than loans, lowering the cost of transit, rebates for electric vehicles and bikes, alongside other commitments to support people with the cost of living, including a living wage, rent control and $10/day child care.

NDP: Equity is a core value of the NDP’s Green New Democratic Deal, which commits to applying an "environmental justice lens" to all government policies, in recognition of how climate change and other environmental harms tend to disproportionately impact low-income and vulnerable communities. In addition, among other measures, the NDP has committed to a “just transition” to a zero carbon economy, including dedicating at least 25% of carbon pricing proceeds to low-income and other communities that face disproportionate burdens. The plan can be found at

PC: No answer received yet.