Bruce Hyer Disappointed Motion Voted Down
OTTAWA – POLITICS – Last night, Thunder Bay-Superior North MP and Deputy Leader of the Green Party Bruce Hyer and Green Party Leader and MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands Elizabeth May voted in favour of a motion to have the government establish a program to support energy efficient home renovation.
The motion would have lowered energy bills for Northern Ontarians, while creating jobs and fighting climate change. Unfortunately, the Conservative government used their majority to block the motion’s passage and kill the program.
Eco Energy Program Would have Offered Incentives
“It was disappointing, if not unexpected, to watch almost every Conservative MP in the House stand against a proposal that could have restored the successful energy efficient home retrofit program,” Hyer said. “This motion was a no brainer. The Conservatives could have killed two birds with one stone – creating jobs while lowering carbon emissions. It’s beyond me why any government would oppose it.”
In 2012, the Conservatives cancelled their own ecoEnergy Home Retrofit program without warning. The ecoEnergy program gave out grants of up to $5,000 to homeowners to help pay for energy efficient upgrades like replacing furnaces, improving insulation and sealing windows and doors.
The ecoEnergy program was a major success. It served over 750,000 Canadians during its five years, saving users an average of 20 per cent on their home energy bills every year, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and adding up to $4 billion to the Canadian economy. It increased government revenue and created thousands of jobs.
“EcoEnergy was brought huge benefits to the environment, the economy and the average Canadian. It was particularly significant to us in Northwestern Ontario, where the cost of home heating is rising rapidly,” Hyer said.
“Canada wastes more than half the energy we use,” May said. “Heating the outdoors in the winter and cooling it in the summer is just plain dumb. Yet our smart program in eco-energy home investments has been cancelled, and this great motion defeated.”
“It was my hope that all members would vote to lower energy costs for Canadians. But it’s clear the Conservatives are willing to shoot down any measure brought forward by opposition MPs, regardless of it’s merit,” Hyer said. “It’s frustrating to see the Conservative anti-environment bias costing Canadians much-needed jobs.”
Motion M-497, introduced by François Choquette, read as follows:
That, in the opinion of the House, the government should implement an energy efficiency program to encourage owners of houses, residential buildings, shops and businesses to reduce their energy consumption, with a view to: (a) combatting climate change; (b) lowering the energy bills of Canadians; and (c) creating jobs and stimulating the economy.