Ontario Elections 2022: A Guide to Environmental Issues

After four years leading a majority government, Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative Party will seek a second term in the 2022 Ontario election on June 2.

Every Tuesday until Election Day, The Narwhal’s Ontario office will keep you updated on the latest environmental pledges via our political climate newsletter. Be sure to sign up below as we separate fact from fiction on the campaign trail.

It has been a tumultuous tenure of government in Ontario, defined by the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the province has seen significant deaths in long term care houses and the longest school closures in the countryside. But the population seems ready to offer Ford another victory: at the end of April, the 338Canada polling station planned another majoritythe PCs winning 70 seats, a comfortable margin over the 63 needed to keep the legislature firmly blue.

Environmental record of Doug Ford since the 2018 election victory in Ontario

Politics affecting climate change and other environmental concerns were hit hard during Ford’s first term. The Prime Minister promised to eliminate cap and trade carbon prices and, in fact, it was his first action in office, even before he was sworn in. The Ford government has also accelerated plans for two controversial new highways through the protected Greenbelt, a move defended by Environment Minister David Piccini in an interview with The Narwhal. The province’s auditor general has also criticized the government for weakening endangered species protections to make things easier for industry.

After taking office in 2018, the Doug Ford government scrapped existing incentives for electric vehicle buyers and scrapped charging stations. In the months leading up to the election, the government began to promise to make Ontario a mining and manufacturing center for the automobiles of the future. Illustration: Carol Linnitt / The Narwhal

PCs make pledges to drivers ahead of 2022 Ontario election

The one emission reduction angle that PCs wholeheartedly support, even haphazardly, is electric vehicles. Shortly after being elected, the Ford government removed multiple incentives to buy electric cars, but now promises to make Ontario a mining and manufacturing hub for the automobiles of the future. Just before the start of Ontario’s 2022 election campaign, Ford announced a number of measures that will make driving cheaper right away, including eliminating license plate renewal fees and, if it wins, a reduce gas tax.

Photos by Steven Del Duca, Andrea Horwath and Mike Schreiner

Opposition: Liberal Party Leader Steven Del Duca, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner are all challenging Doug Ford in the 2022 Ontario election. Photos: Del Duca, Christopher Katsarov Luna / Le Narval; Horwath and Schreiner / Ramona Leitao / The Narwhal

NDP and Liberals seek to challenge PCs in 2022 Ontario election

As for Ford’s challengers, the New Democratic Party, led by longtime leader Andrea Horwath, formed the Official Opposition for the first time since 1990 during the last term and was the first major party to introduce a climate plan. . Horwath promises to undo most of Ford’s cuts if the NDP wins the 2022 Ontario election. The Liberals, under Steven Del Duca, hope to significantly increase their seat count from the meager seven they won in 2018. Del Duca touts his industry-resilient record as proof he’s a climate champion. As for the Green Party, Leader Mike Schreiner is seeking to at least double the number of seats the party holds at Queen’s Park, which currently has only one: his own.