Environmental issues were not top of mind in yesterday’s Speech from the Throne by Ontario’s minority government. In fact, the word “environment” is mentioned only once:“Your government also knows that Ontario’s wealth is not just economic — it is found in our abundance of natural beauty and resources, and we all have a duty to protect it. That’s why your government will follow through on its goal to become the continent’s water innovation leader by 2015 and work with environmental experts and community groups to develop and introduce a Great Lakes Protection Act.”
However, other provincial promises do have environmental significance. There will be no changes to the Green Energy Act, or to plans to upgrade the electrical grid, and two-way, all-day GO train service will be provided in the GTA and Greater Golden Horseshoe. It’s a low risk package, appropriate for a minority government.
There will be no cuts to health or education, meaning that cuts in expenditures and civil service employment will have to come disproportionately in other ministries, such as Environment. More information will come in the Economic Statement today.