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Archive for October 7th, 2007

Why I’m not voting for John Tory and company

October 07, 2007 @ 21:59 By: gordon Category: Current affairs

As you should know if you live in Ontario, there’s a provincial election taking place on Wednesday. While I haven’t completely made up my mind about who I will support this time, I do know who I will not support and his name is John Tory.

Apart from running negative attack ads from day one, something that I can’t believe converts any significant number of undecided voters, I just don’t find the messages in the Ontario PC Party ads, both negative and non-negative, credible.

For example, there’s an ad that has your “typical resident of Ontario” talking about deaths from smog. The number they quote is something like 1900 per year, and go on to say that equates to 5600 unnecessary deaths because Dalton McGuinty didn’t live up to his campaign promise of getting rid of the coal-fired generating plants. There may well be something like 1900 deaths a year in Ontario that can be attributed to poor air quality, but that doesn’t mean that eliminating the coal-fired power plants will eliminate the poor air quality. There are many other sources of pollution that contribute to poor air quality, particularly automobile that are a non-trivial source of the pollutants that make up smog. Other sources include heavy manufacturing such as refineries. But, the ad is worded to lead the viewer to believe that the coal-fired power plants in Ontario are directly responsible for 1900 deaths a year. What about the air pollution that is generated by extra-provincial sources upwind of Ontario?

Another ad talking about coal-fired power plants has John Tory bemoaning the fact that the coal-fire power plants weren’t closed as promised and outlining what he will do with respect to coal-fired power plants. His solution is to order the installation of scrubbers on the smoke stacks to reduce the pollutants emitted. A short-term plan — that’s all. He doesn’t go on to tell the viewer what the long-term plan is, which is a much more important issue. Is he going to commission new nuclear power plants, or gas-fired power plants, or build more hydroelectric generating capacity, or invest in alternative technologies such as wind or solar? Is he going to decommission the coal-fired power plants? Or are we going to increasingly rely on imported electricity, shifting the emissions from Ontario to another jurisdiction, some of which are using coal-fired generating plants that happen to be upwind of us, which brings us back to the previous ad.

Many of the other ads I’ve seen have similar messages that basically tells you that everything will instantly be wonderful if you vote for the Ontario PC Party. I find that hard to believe.