Print Version

Earth Day press release



Layton Celebrates Earth Day As Liberals Leave Environment Off Priority List

TORONTO- NDP Leader Jack Layton today joined in with thousands of Canadians on Earth Day today in urging the federal government to make positive choices with practical solutions for a green and prosperous country - creating jobs, cleaning the air and fighting climate change.

Layton spoke accompanied by NDP candidates and environmental activists beside Canada’s first urban wind turbine, an initiative in which Layton played a key role as a Toronto city councillor. He criticized the Liberal record on the environment and noted the Liberals broke their promise to cut greenhouse gas emissions and failed to mention the Kyoto Protocol in either their 2004 budget or Throne Speech.

“Canadians keep telling the Liberals they want clean air and clean water, and want to fight climate change, yet when the Liberals announced the latest version of their priorities, they ignored the environment,” said Layton. “To Canadians who want to build a green and prosperous economy, I say make a positive choice in this election. Green technology exists today and we need a government with the political will to use it today.

“I’m proud to have worked with people on limited budgets to put practical solutions like renewable energy in place. And it’s time the federal government helped put solutions in place, too, instead of talking about the environment but letting pollution rise,” said Layton, who noted the Liberals promised to cut climate-changing and smog-causing emissions in the 1993 Red Book, but let them rise by 18 per cent instead.

“Paul Martin’s Liberals talk of 10-year plans, but if Canadians want to see what Liberal 10-year plans are like, they only need to look at the last ten years and ask who the Liberals were listening to,” he said.

Last week, Layton released a central plank of the NDP’s election platform, the environment, which contained a real plan to create jobs with renewable energy, and meet Canada’s Kyoto commitments on climate change. (Available on

Among the NDP’s practical solutions are leveraging the government’s Petro-Canada stake to create a new Crown corporation for renewable energy, with innovation centres in solar, tidal, wind and geothermal energy. The NDP would also shift tax incentives from polluting to green energy; create jobs and energy efficiency by retrofitting buildings as Layton did in Toronto and implement the NDP’s innovative green car industrial strategy unveiled last year with the support of both the CAW and Greenpeace.

“Canada can build a green and prosperous economy. We can create jobs as we clean our air and water. We can build for tomorrow by becoming a world leader in renewable energy, and I am proud to lead the only party listening to Canadians when they say that’s what they want,” said Layton.

For more information, please contact:
Karl Belanger, Press Secretary to Jack Layton, 613/720-6463.