GUELPH — Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Official Opposition New Democrats, has committed to launch Ontario’s first zero-emissions vehicles strategy, ramping up electric vehicle sales to 100 per cent of all new auto sales in Ontario by 2035.
“We’re going to make Ontario a global leader in electric auto engineering and manufacturing, we’re going to create new jobs in the auto industry of the future, and we’re going to make it easy and affordable for everyone to buy, charge and ride electric,” said Horwath. “The climate crisis is the greatest threat our world faces. But with how we respond to that crisis, we can create an incredible opportunity when it comes to the auto industry in Ontario.”
Horwath and the NDP have released a comprehensive platform to tackle the climate crisis and create jobs. It’s the boldest and most effective climate plan Ontario has ever had — and it recognizes that transitioning to a net-zero economy requires shifting from internal combustion engine vehicles to zero-emission vehicles.
It includes help for manufacturers to retool to electric, financial incentives for people to buy electric passenger vehicles, and $600 per household to cover the cost of buying an installing a charging station at home. With Horwath’s strategy, all new vehicle sales in Ontario will be zero-emissions vehicles by 2035, and all transit fleets will be electrified by 2040.
Horwath made the announcement Thursday in Guelph, where the City of Guelph has been working hard to be a green leader, including planning to put 65 electric busses on the road, and installing 20 electric vehicle charging stations downtown. That kind of leadership needs a government that’s at Queen’s Park to support them, said Horwath.
“The Liberals had 15 years to make this kind of shift. They talked a good game but let us fall behind,” said Horwath. “And then came Doug Ford and his war on the environment. He cancelled the rebates for buying electric, and literally paid to have electric vehicle charging stations ripped out of the ground at GO stations. People deserve better — especially the next generation.”
Horwath’s commitment also comes with plans to expand and electrify municipal and regional transit, so more people can commute comfortably on clean electric busses and trains.
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Sandy Shaw (Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas) Official Opposition critic for the Environment
“Our children and grandchildren cannot afford another four years of delays when it comes to tackling the climate crisis. The floods, fires and extreme temperatures are already taking a toll on our beautiful province, and the wellbeing of our families. Urgently transitioning Ontario’s roads and highways to zero-emissions will make a huge difference, and when we combine that with the rest of our climate plan, we will finally be fighting the climate crisis like we plan to win.”
Peter Tabuns (Toronto Danforth) Official Opposition critic for Energy and the Climate Crisis
“We have run out of runway to fight the climate crisis. We need to take urgent action if we’re going to give ourselves, and our children, a healthy future. The good news is, the NDP’s Climate. Jobs. Justice platform lays out an achievable, doable path to victory in the climate crisis. With Andrea and the NDP, there’s hope.”
Jamey Rosen, Guelph resident and electric vehicle owner
“My EV takes me everywhere I need to get within Guelph. If the infrastructure was in place for my family to take an EV where we needed to get to outside of Guelph I’d gladly get rid of my gas vehicle and only drive electric. And I’d convince my family and friends to do the same.”
The electric vehicle package is a part of the environmental platform released by Andrea Horwath and the NDP. Climate. Jobs. Justice. A Green New Democratic Deal. The zero-emissions vehicle strategy includes:
Auto manufacturing, sales and purchases
- Provide world-leading financial incentives for Ontario auto manufacturing plants to re-tool to produce electric vehicles
- Set a province-wide electric vehicle sales target of 15 per cent by 2025, 45 per cent by 2030, and 100 per cent by 2035
- Offer strong incentives to buy an electric vehicle, excluding luxury vehicles but with added incentive to buy manufactured-in-Canada electric vehicles
- Completely electrify government fleets by 2030
- Give $600 to households to install a charging station at home
- Require builders to put vehicle charging capacity in new homes
- Build charging stations on public properties, like GO Train stations and along roadways
- Work with municipalities to electrify all municipal transit fleets by 2040
- Take immediate steps to electrify the GO Train network on an accelerated timeline to replace dirty diesel trains along all lines
- Reverse the provincial funding cuts the former Conservative and Liberal governments made to municipal transit and paratransit services