What to ask candidates for the Ontario municipal election

The Ontario municipal election on October 27 is a great way to raise water and climate issues in your community. Here are some sample questions to ask candidates during debates, at public events or when they knock on your door.

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Extreme Energy in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Basin

Suncor recently began shipping bitumen from the Alberta tar sands on the St. Lawrence River, with its first shipment arriving in Italy. These shipments pose a heightened risk to a watershed that supplies drinking water to millions of people. Will you call for a stop to the shipments until a thorough environmental assessment and public consultation is complete?

Line 9 would move 300,000 barrels per day of diluted bitumen from Alberta's tar sands and fracked oil from North Dakota eastward to refineries Montreal. Communities along the route have raised strong concerns as Line 9 travels through crowded urban centres as well as along the entire northern shoreline of Lake Ontario and along the St. Lawrence to Montreal. What is your position on the reversal of the Line 9 pipeline from Sarnia to Montreal?

While there is currently no horizontal, multi-stage fracking in Ontario, it remains a threat to Southern Ontario. The Ontario Energy Board approved the expansion of a fracked gas pipeline for the Greater Toronto Area. What is your position on fracking in Ontario as well as fracked gas being transported from the U.S.?

To read more about extreme energy in the Great Lakes, click here.

The Energy East Pipeline

Energy East would cross [or come near] [NAME YOUR WATERWAY]. The pipeline would ship diluted bitumen, which has proven to sink when spilled in water, and is extremely costly and difficult to clean up.  Protecting the over 900 waterways along the route means saying no to Energy East. Would you, at minimum, commit to commissioning independent scientific analysis to best evaluate the threat of a dilbit spill to [WATERWAY OR YOUR AREA]?

 Energy East would see an up to 40 year old natural gas pipeline converted to ship oil, including diluted bitumen produced in the tar sands. There have been 9 ruptures and explosions on TransCanada’s Mainline pipeline series since 1991.These incidents were found to be largely the result of stress corrosion cracking, external corrosion, and coating and welding failures, suggesting problems with the pipeline’s design, installation and maintenance. Will you protect our waterways, climate and community by taking a stand against Energy East? 

Energy east will allow an increase in carbon emissions equivalent to 7 million cars being added to the roads.  It would undo the progress made by closing coal fired plants in Ontario. We know we must reduce emissions to avoid catastrophic climate change. Will you protect our waterways, climate and community by taking a stand against Energy East?  

To read more about Energy East, click here.

Municipal water

The Harper government created the Public-Private Partnership (P3) Fund which requires municipalities to enter into P3 agreements if they want any new funding for water or wastewater infrastructure. P3 projects can be more costly to municipalities, decrease water quality, increase costs and cut jobs. What is your position on the participation of private, for-profit partners in municipal water, wastewater and stormwater services?

Communities across Canada are raising concerns about the impacts of water-takings from local watersheds by for-profit bottling companies. Citizens are calling on municipal governments and school boards to stop selling bottled water. Would you support a ban on the sale of single-use water bottles in public facilities and at public events in our municipality?

What would you do to make tap water more available in public gathering places and events in our municipality?

To read more about how communities are protecting their municipal water, visit our Blue Communities webpage.