All posts by Lorraine Dolbear

Peter Smith Speaks To Sarnia Sustainability Ambassadors

Sarnia Sustainability Ambassadors are proving that young people desire to get engaged politically. This group, comprised mainly of young adults, has arranged to meet with Federal Candidates from each major political party in Sarnia-Lambton. The topic being discussed is the environment. 

Green Candidate, Peter Smith, was guest speaker at this week’s SSA meeting. Smith eagerly shared The Green Party’s vision and platform, and answered some very compelling questions raised by attendees. Continue reading for some highlights.

How would the Green Party be different than the other parties when it comes to dealing with climate change?

  1. The Green Party is the only party to set emission reduction policies that are consistent with meeting 2030 targets set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 
  2. Greens will form a multi-party cabinet to address climate change, an approach used to problem solve during World War II. Climate change should not be a partisan issue. It will only be solved by bringing together the best people from all walks of life. 

Wouldn’t Green Party policies cause major job losses to the workers in Chemical Valley?

There are many positive, good uses for plastic, for example using PVC piping to build India’s water and sewage infrastructure. Sarnia makes many such useful products, and that will not change. What does need to change is the level of emissions released by the burning of fossil fuels. 

Electric cars are often discussed as a big part of the solution to reducing emissions. Aren’t electric cars just as bad for the environment as ones with internal combustion engines due to lithium mining and the emissions produced to create electricity?

Producing gasoline from oil is worse environmentally than lithium mining. In Ontario, the electric grid is almost 100% fossil fuel free, thus electric vehicles have low emissions from driving.

What are the Green Party’s ideas for meeting the recommended 1.5 degree temperature increase?

  1. Update building code regulations for energy efficiency, create a retrofit program for existing buildings, all with the added benefit of creating jobs for tradespeople.
  2. Improve transit infrastructure in larger cities, which will reduce the number of people driving automobiles. Invest in VIA rail to bolster this form of transportation for longer distances.
  3. Green Party policies will provide incentives to forestry and agriculture industries for practices that reduce emissions and lock carbon into the soil.
  4. Maintain existing Carbon Tax and Rebate to reduce emissions, and supplement with incentive programs.

Clean & Caring Economy Tour with Mike Schreiner

Mike Schreiner, Leader of the Green Party of Ontario and MPP for Guelph, made a stop in Sarnia on his Clean & Caring Economy Tour. Mike and his team are spreading the word that the clean, green economy employs more Canadians than does the non-renewable  sector. Peter Smith, Sarnia-Lambton’s Federal Candidate, helped organize Schreiner’s visit to the area. 

The first stop was a greenhouse that exemplifies environmentally sustainable practices. Owners shared that being environmentally friendly is often more economically friendly, too. Instead of pesticides that must be applied regularly in order to combat pest problems, this operation implements an ecosystem of insects to regulate pests.

At the next stop, Alton Farms Estate Winery, Smith and Schreiner received a tour of the property, and a chance to sample the wines.  Marc Alton shared that he opened this local winery, in part, to broaden possibilities for young farmers and entrepreneurs. It’s next to impossible for a young person to break into the farming business, but starting a small vineyard is within reach for some.

After a delicious lunch at Alton Farms, the Green Team carried on to LCY Biosciences facility in chemical valley. This company makes succinic acid, an ingredient in plastic, using glucose from Ontario corn as feedstock. It was fascinating to see the steps, from beginning to end. By using local and renewable products to fuel its production, LCY Biosciences is pioneering a cleaner alternative to traditional plastic.

“The earth provides what its people need,” this was Sharilyn Johnston’s message at Aamjiwnaang’s Maajiigin Gumig Greenhouse. The earth is providing plentiful bergamot in Aamjiwnaang. Bergamot helps with respiratory healing, a health issue that can be caused by polluted air. Maajiigin Gumig’s mission is to rescue and restore plants that make up this area’s natural ecosystem, and which local animals and bugs depend on to survive.

Peter Smith at Vegfest

Vegfest had something for everyone this year! Peter Smith, Federal Candidate, led the Green Party booth. He organized a petition to end the hunting of polar bears, except by native communities, and another petition imploring Sarnia-Lambton’s current MP to include clean air and clean water in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Green Party promotes animal welfare by seeking to ban animal testing and to end abusive farm breeding practices. Green policies support local farms that offer humane and respectful conditions for animals.