31,000 Renewable Power Jobs at Risk across Ontario
For Immediate Release
June 6, 2014
WINDSOR—The 31,000 jobs created by Ontario’s Green Energy and Economy Act are at risk following the June 12 election if an anti-environment party forms government, says the Unifor Windsor Regional Environment Council and the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE).
The groups are concerned that any attempt to kill support for the province’s wind and solar industries could harm air quality and bring massive layoffs across Ontario, including in Windsor.
“Windsor is a centre for the construction of wind turbine-towers, solar panels and innovative solar powered vehicles, LED lights and off-grid systems,” says Mark Bartlett of Unifor’s Windsor Regional Environment Council. “If the new government slashes the Green Energy and Economy Act, hundreds of our neighbors and friends are going to lose their jobs and our health and our environment will suffer.”
Sean Moore, CEO of Unconquered Sun Solar Technologies said, “More Green Energy sector jobs can be created but we need strong government policies to continue a transition to a Renewable Energy economy. The Green Energy Act has fostered economic growth and helped our environment.”
Ontario’s Green Energy and Economy Act — modeled on a successful program in Germany — has brought 31,000 jobs to the province and attracted billions of dollars worth of investment.
CAPE — which represents over 6,000 doctors and other citizens — is also concerned that a loss of renewable energy would mean more pollution and illness.
“Our doctors believe wind and solar power are some of the cleanest technologies around,” says CAPE Executive Director Gideon Forman. “If government support for renewables is cut, we’re going to see more fossil fuels and nuclear power – which threaten our climate and health. Don’t forget that, as recently as 2010, Ontario coal plants caused 150,000 illnesses across the province.”
Unifor and CAPE are non-partisan, but urge voters to consider which candidates will best protect renewable energy.
Says Unifor’s Bartlett: “Solar and wind power don’t create emissions, but they do create a lot of jobs.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Mark Bartlett, President, Unifor Windsor Regional Environment Council
(519) 982-8115 (cell) (519) 974-5341 (office)
Gideon Forman, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
(416) 306-2273 (office)