May 13th, 2019

Ottawa-area Conservatives refuse to declare a climate change emergency

QUEEN’S PARK — The NDP's Environment critic, Ian Arthur, said it is simply wrong that Ottawa-area Conservative MPPs voted down Andrea Horwath's motion to declare a climate change emergency in Ontario, as families in their communities grapple with historic flooding.

Conservative MPPs Merrilee Fullerton (Kanata-Carleton), Goldie Ghamari (Carleton), Jeremy Roberts (Ottawa West—Nepean), and John Yakabuski (Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke) all voted against Horwath’s motion Monday afternoon while Lisa MacLeod (Nepean) didn't show up for the vote.

“Climate change isn’t some distant threat. Right now, families and communities in Ottawa, Pembroke and all along the Ottawa River are living with the consequences of climate change," said Arthur. “Declaring a climate change emergency in Ontario was an opportunity for Queen’s Park to change direction, for politicians of all stripes to put politics aside and agree that it’s time we start winning the fight against climate change."

Arthur and several NDP MPPs, including Horwath, joined the debate. They congratulated young people for leading the fight for the future of the planet, and made powerful pleas for the fight against climate change to be made a top priority.

“It’s deeply troubling that Ottawa-area Conservative MPPs chose to put politics before their communities and vote against this motion. People deserve so much better — especially those young Ontarians who will inherit the rising waters, spreading wildfires and growing numbers of disasters like tornadoes," said Arthur.

The Conservatives used their majority to vote down the NDP motion. Arthur said the New Democrats will continue to partner with families and communities across Ontario and push for real action in the fight against climate change.