Date(s) - Thursday, April 5, 2018
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Koffler House, KP 108
Robert Hunter Memorial Lecture
DALTON MCGUINTY, Ontario’s 24th Premier
Dalton McGuinty, a lawyer, served as Premier of Ontario from 2003 to 2013. During that time, he led the Ontario Liberal Party to three successive election victories. Premier McGuinty made education, health care, the environment and the economy his priorities, achieving real gains in each area. Since leaving politics, Mr. McGuinty served as a Fellow at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and is currently a Senior Fellow at both the University of Toronto’s School of Public Policy and Governance and Carleton University’s School of Public Policy and Administration . He is on the Board of Directors of Innergex Renewable Energy Inc., Pomerleau Inc., and Canadian University Dubai. He serves as Special Advisor to the CEO of D2L Corporation, and also sits on the Board of Directors of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.
Dalton McGuinty was named “Canada’s greenest Premier ever” by Stewart Elgie, founder and managing lawyer of the Sierra Legal Defence Fund, now Canada’s largest public interest environmental law organization [https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/2013/02/25/dalton_mcguinty_canadas_greenest_premier_ever.html].
During his tenure as Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty cut smog days in half by reducing coal-fired power by 90 per cent. He left the provincial government on track to shut down the last coal plants in southern Ontario by the end of 2013. He also brought in the toughest drinking water standards in the world, built 1000 wind turbines, created Bob Hunter Memorial Park as well as Ontario’s Greenbelt and expanded it to nearly two million acres of protected land. He left Ontario a green leader on the world stage — he helped create over 30,000 new, clean-energy jobs through the world-leading FIT program and left Ontario leading Canada in solar capacity.
Dalton McGuinty told energy producers, consumers and stakeholders that Ontario needed a clean and reliable source of energy to power a modern economy — that the smog and brownouts that characterized the Tory years must stop. But he went even further, stressing that the new system must not be based on a false choice between a dependable supply and a clean environment: Ontario demanded both. In fact, at the same time Ontario under McGuinty secured its energy supply, it achieved some of the most significant environmental gains in the world.
Saying that no generation has ever complained that the previous one left behind too much green space, Dalton McGuinty led the fight for nature and against urban sprawl by establishing Ontario’s Green Belt across the breadth of the Golden Horseshoe: at 1.8 million acres, it is the world’s largest protected green space, preserving prime farm land, wetlands, forests and places to play.
His government cut the use of coal, the greatest source of air pollution, by more than 90 per cent. It increased the number of wind turbines in the province by 10,000 per cent (from just 10 turbines to 1,000). Its Clean Energy Act has created over 30,000 jobs by the time he left office, and brought 9,000 additional megawatts of clean, green power online. And it introduced 59 new air standards in the biggest move to eliminate air toxins in Ontario in more than 30 years. As a result, we have cleaner air, with concentrations of sulphur dioxide down 28 per cent, and nitrogen dioxide down 21 per cent. Assuming office in the wake of the Walkerton tragedy, McGuinty led the introduction of a new Clean Water Act, which set strict new standards for our drinking water.
Please check Facebook event page for lecture video in the days ahead.