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Treat Hull kicks off Green campaign

Treat Hull, Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Prince Edward-Hastings, officially kicked off his campaign Wednesday.
The following is text from the opening. The Give ‘Em Hull Green Party campaign office is located above
Miss Lily’s Cafe, Picton. 613-476-8700.

also on:
By Treat Hull
I hope to offer the voters in the riding a real choice and a clear alternative, an alternative that is currently missing on the political spectrum, an alternative voice that is financially conservative, socially progressive and environmentally responsible.
All elections are important, but this election is especially important because the province is facing choices during the next legislature which will determine our well-being for decades to
come. I hope to offer the voters in the riding a real choice on the important issues of the day including the provincial economy, healthcare energy.
I am entering politics after thirty years in the business word because I am appalled at the arrogance and financial irresponsibility of the Liberals.
Financial sustainability is as important as environmental sustainability, but during the McGuinty years, Ontario’s deficit actually doubled, so that every working voter now owes $36,000 as their share of the provincial long-term deficit. Think of it this way: if you have a daughter or son entering the workforce, on day one of their new job they acquire a debt equal to $36,000 and growing. Are politicians’ election promises really worth it?
Although interest rates are as low they can go, interest on the provincial long-term deficit currently make up the third largest expense in the provincial budget. Healthcare is first, followed by elementary and high school education. Interest expense is third, larger than what we spend on colleges and universities.
To be honest, Ontario has its back to the wall financially. Unless we begin to reduce our record debt levels, we will have little or no means to invest in the province’s future or to stimulate the economy in any future recession, or even to look after those in need, in the event of an economic downturn.
The Liberals have run up an all-time record deficit and the Conservatives accuse the Liberals of being the ‘tax and spend’ party, which is true.
But, just as irresponsible, the Tories are proposing to cut taxes and maintain spending. This is either a recipe for an increased deficit, or a cynical ploy to get elected on false promises.
McGuinty and Hudak are both agreed that, if elected, they will continue to run deficits until 2017….that’s halfway through the mandate of the next government after this one. If that isn’t passing the buck, I don’t know what is. It is imperative to balance the budget and start paying down the deficit during the next four years.
I hope to offer the voters of Prince Edward-Hasting a financially responsible alternative, an alternative which confronts the deficit issue head on.
Voters in Prince Edward-Hastings and across the province are vitally interested in making sure there are jobs, jobs for themselves and for their children. The current government has touted the Green Energy and Economy Act as a set piece of job creation, but the reality is that the costs have lived up to expectation while the results has come nowhere near the 70,000 jobs promised by the Liberals.
The Liberals vision of job creation and the role of government is a relic, a throwback to the 1970’s and 1980’s when governments pursued what was called industrial strategy and used taxpayer dollars to subsidize chosen industries at the expense of others.
I hope to offer voters in Prince Edward-Hastings an alternative vision of job creation and the role of government, a vision which recognizes that lasting job creation in today’s world results not from subsidizing multinationals, but from the vitality of our local economies and our small businesses. The jobs created by our local businesses will not disappear overseas as soon as government subsidies are removed.
The real job creators in our riding, our small and medium businesses, do not need or want government subsidies. The most important thing they want is from government is to get out of the way. In Belleville, vendors at the farmers market can’t sell eggs at a farmer’s market unless they’ve been graded at an approved facility…and there is none locally. You and I have the pleasure of filing our income tax report once a year and that’s painful enough, but small winemakers here in the County have to file five separate reports to different government bodies every month.
Government should enable people to achieve their dreams, not get in the way. If elected I commit to working for an end to one-size fits all regulation and to getting government out of the way of small business so they can pursue their dreams and create vital local employment.
I hope to offer the voters of Prince Edward-Hastings an alternative vision of healthcare.
Prince Edward-Hasting is a vast riding which stretches from Lake Ontario to Algonquin Park, a series of communities with vastly different needs.
The Liberals and the Tories share a common vision of health care, a vision of central control, whether that control takes the form of the Liberal’s LHIN’s or the Conservatives forced hospital amalgamation. The Liberals and the Tories put their trust in bureaucrats, where I think we should put our trust in local communities. Let’s stand the healthcare system on its head and give the budgets to local communities who may then contract with regional institutions for the services they want and need.
Finally, I hope to offer the voters of Prince Edward-Hastings an alternative vision of energy.
It’s vital to find ways to reduce carbon in our energy supply, but the Liberals have completely blown it by forcing industrial wind energy on rural communities. There is no energy generation emergency in Ontario which would justify stripping away the rights of communities to control their own destiny.
Ontario finances are in such poor shape that we have to choose our energy investments wisely so that we get the most bang for our limited buck in terms of carbon reduction.
To be honest, no matter what promises politicians make in their effort to get elected, energy prices will continue to climb over the next decades. The most important thing the government can do to help people deal with this is to help them invest in energy conservation, an investment which effectively costs 2-4 cents a kilowatt hour.
To the extent that new generation is needed, the province should pursue the purchase of inexpensive clean renewable water power from Quebec and Manitoba at a current long-term price of 7 cents a kilowatt hour. Until these options are exhausted, it is financially imprudent to force ratepayers to invest in industrial scale wind at 13 cents a kilowatt-hour. Wind and solar will have an important place in the province’s energy mix in the mid-term, but because there is no short-term generation emergency, the government should take the time to address citizen’s concerns about health, noise and other issues, not barge ahead over the concerns of rural communities.
In the end, both the Liberals and the Tories are committed to spend in excess of $35 billion on new nuclear construction as the center of their energy plans, despite the fact that no Ontario nuclear project has ever come in on-time, on-budget. We are still paying off the debt retirement charge from previous nuclear projects but the Liberal and Tories propose more of the same.
If I am elected, I will fight for a halt to industrial-scale wind until the government restores zoning rights to municipalities, I will fight for conservation and for the purchase of cost-effective renewable water power rather than using consumer dollars subsidizing foreign wind energy companies and I will fight for legislation which would prohibit nuclear contractors from passing their cost-overruns on the consumers of Ontario.
All of which brings me to conclude on an issue in here Prince Edward County which highlights the intransigence and arrogance of the current government, namely the wind farm which is proposed for Ostrander Point.
Ostrander Point is a Provincial Wildlife Area which is home to at least two endangered species. The project is right in the Important Bird Area where migrating birds cross the lake, yet the McGuinty government went out and solicited developers to put up a wind farm on this site.
Even supporters of wind energy such as Nature Canada have called this the worst possible place to put a wind farm.
Despite the community outcry, and over the objections of the elected local government, the McGuinty government has pushed on.
Over the Labour Day long weekend and with no prior announcement, sub-contractors connected to the Department of National Defence began clearing the site of the proposed wind farm at Ostrander Point to check for unexploded ordinance (UXO). Their presence at Ostrander at this time is not a coincidence.
Gilead Power, the wind farm developer, published a construction plan last year which specified that a check for UXO would have to be carried out as one of the first construction activities, either by DND or by a Gilead Power-retained contractor. It now appears that they succeeded in getting the DND to do this first preparation phase for them at taxpayer expense.
The Gilead project is not approved yet. The Ministry could refuse to issue the final permits as it did last week in the case of the Big Thunder wind project in Thunder Bay. If final permits are ultimately granted, local residents will most certainly launch an appeal to an Environmental Tribunal which could also stop the project.
The decision to proceed with site preparation without final approvals and just weeks before a provincial election which could decide the fate of the project shows an indifference if not contempt for both the environment and the democratic process. If County residents are successful in stopping the Ostrander project, then the DND site work will leave a legacy of disruption which serves no useful purpose.
All activity at Ostrander Point should be halted until all final approvals are received. As a candidate and as an MPP I will continue to speak out on this important issue. For people who support other candidates in the election, I encourage them to contact their favoured candidate and make sure that they also speak out now before more damage is done to the site.
Let me conclude by saying that the Legislature is full of members forced to toe the party line, whether as members of Cabinet or from the back benches of parties that script their speeches and choreography their public appearances. I hope to off the voters in the riding a thoughtful, forceful and independent voice at Queen’s Park, beholden to no one except the people who elected me. What you see in the campaign is what you’ll get in the legislature.
Thank you.

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