The Green Energy and Economy Act – vote today to save it!

Today’s election in Ontario could mean the difference between saving and killing the Green Energy and Economy Act. If you haven’t voted just yet, our Canada World Youth Intern Justin Chisholm fills us in on the Act from a youth perspective.

When Ontario’s Liberal majority government passed Bill 150, the Green Energy and   Economy Act (GEGEA), on May 14, 2009, it received praise from environmental figures for its ambitious targets for renewable energy creation in Canada’s most populated province: “Ontario’s Green Energy Act represents North America’s most ambitious and far reaching enabling legislation and will place Ontario as a world leader in renewable energy development, industrial innovation and climate protection,” words of praise from Dr. Hermann Scheer, Chairman of the Renewable Energy Council.Tapping into the Earth’s natural resources couldn’t be a better way to gain the support of those who are going to be inheriting the Earth in a few generations, todays youth. After all, our basic needs are to eat and procreate and we need a habitable planet for both of those.

The first question that comes to mind when looking at the GEGEA as a youth is simply, will it last? Is this bill sustainable enough to lay the groundwork to be built upon by future energy policies? The simple answer to both questions is yes. But if we were here to just get the answers and run then we could just memorize Wikipedia and rule the world. On a more serious note, the GEGEA has built-in reevaluation plans that promise i) (according to Ontario’s Building Code) to review any given building’s energy efficiency every 5 years and ii) to continuously raise the governmental efficiency standards for appliances and equipment such that inefficiency is systematically eliminated from the marketplace. Both of these plans, although on different avenues, show clearly the GEGEA’s direction in increasing efficiency and consequently decreasing dirty energy consumption as we move forward.

Whether you’re just starting high school, getting ready to graduate (either high school, university or college) or somewhere in between, everyone is finding themselves. Many youth are on a tight budget for a variety of reasons, whether it’s because of student loans, bills or that rusty Subaru sitting in your garage. The GEGEA does two things to help out upstart youth trying to break through. The bill stands for the creation of 50 000 jobs in all sectors, from lawyers to steel workers, over a three year period and provides affordable energy for those concerned about the myth of higher energy costs when switching to renewables. The cost of infrastructure required to set-up personal renewable energy generators (solar panels, wind turbines) has been minimized by low/no interest governmental loans. An unmentioned benefit from this is increased household efficiency, leaving more pennies in the travel fund.

       If only the ladies and gentlemen at Parliament would take notes from Ontario’s energy policy, who took notes from Germany’s revolutionary energy plan, directed by Dr. Hermann Scheer. Then maybe! Just maybe, we could work in cooperation with Obama and the White House to direct the planet in a direction away from something that resembles the The Day After Tomorrow, hyperbole intended.
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