Catching up with Ontario’s Green Future network caught up with Jack Gibbons, Chair, Ontario Clean Air Alliance.

What is Ontario’s Green Future and how did it come about?

Ontario’s Green Future is the vision of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance.  We are working to ensure that 100% of Ontario’s need for grid-supplied electricity can be provided by renewable energy by 2027.

We began promoting Ontario’s Green Future in 2008 as an alternative to the McGuinty Government’s plan to expand our nuclear generation capacity by 23% by 2027.

What are your latest and greatest highlights and achievements so far?  Any particular stories you would like to share?

In the first half of 2009 with the help of 20 volunteers we canvassed virtually every home in former Energy Minister George Smitherman’s riding in downtown Toronto.  Due to this and other factors, on June 29th Mr. Smitherman suspended the Government of Ontario’s procurement process for two new nuclear reactors for the Darlington Nuclear Station.

Any headaches?  What have been the challenges, growing pains, and lesson so far?

We have been very successful, however we have a miniscule budget and we need to raise more money to continue to get our message out.

What’s next for Ontario’s Green Future?

Premier McGuinty is asking Prime Minister Harper to raise taxes in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Halifax to subsidize the construction of new nuclear reactors in Ontario.  We have to persuade Prime Minister Harper and Liberal Opposition Leader, Michael Ignatieff, to say “no” to another bailout for Canada’s nuclear industry.  We need to invest in a green economy!

Got any green idols, why them?

Former Ontario Energy Minister George Smitherman for championing the Green Energy Act and for suspending the Government of Ontario’s procurement process for two new nuclear reactors.  Thanks to George Smitherman’s leadership, Ontario is on the road to a 100% renewable electricity grid.

Favourite colour?

Green, of course!

One final message that you would like to share with network.

Ontario can now meet its electricity needs without using coal.  In fact, we have a surplus of coal-free electricity generation capacity.  So there is no need to wait another five years to end use of coal to generate electricity.  We can commit to taking our dirty coal plants offline in 2010 and show the world in Copenhagen that we are committed to climate leadership. 

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