Policy: Funding Green Energy in New Homes

Abstract

Currently, low-impact sources of energy are not cost-effective. Limited, large-scale projects like wind and solar farms are good first starts, but putting those technologies on all doorsteps would jumpstart the industry. By providing a granting program to subsidize the installation of those technologies in new-built homes, contractors would be able to not only construct homes that minimize their impact on the environment and reduce lifetime energy costs for homeowners. This would create partnerships between green and traditional industries, scale up production of green technologies to be more cost-effective for homeowners who want to retrofit existing homes, and expand green-collar industries installing and servicing these new technologies.

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Provincial

 

Funding Green Energy in New Homes

Trevor LaForce, Brian Wallin and Josh Kaine | Ottawa West-Nepean Young Liberals

WHEREAS the rate of adoption of green technologies in the home is still low;

WHEREAS Ontario should continue to set a national example in the use and financing of renewable energy;

WHEREAS the Ontario Liberal Party currently supports the use green technologies such as wind and solar farms;

WHERAS a state funded program would reduce the overall cost of these technologies for consumers;

BE IT RESOLVED THAT Ontario provide cost offsets in the form of granting programs to companies involved in the construction of homes to ensure pre-sale installation of technologies to reduce a household’s environmental footprint.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT a wide variety of technologies be supported by this program, including: geothermal wells, solar panels, rooftop wind turbines, rain collection and filtration, as well as technologies for waste management and repurposing.

BE IT FUTHER RESOLVED THAT these funds be awarded on a pre-agreed per-technology, per-home basis.

Policy: Forward-Looking Education in Ontario

Abstract

Ontario’s education system is outdated. Architected in the 19th century to service an emerging industrial base and saddled with pre-Confederation-era legislation, the current primary and secondary systems are increasingly unable to produce students who go on with healthy living, fitness, life skills, and basic job skills. Universities must cater to underperforming first-year classes. Health care must cater to less naturally healthy individuals. And students are not civic-minded individuals; the voting population is dwindling and gentrified. This policy calls for a commission to recommend reforms to Ontario’s education system, so that a student’s education is designed for lifelong learning, health, civic engagement, and self-sufficiency.

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Provincial

Forward-looking Education in Ontario

Trevor LaForce | Ottawa West-Nepean Young Liberals

WHEREAS Ontario’s current education system has its roots in 19th-century British models;

WHEREAS the underlying structure of the education system is designed to service an industrial-age economy;

WHEREAS today’s digital natives interact with information and their learning in ways not planned for by the architects of our education system;

WHEREAS new media and information technologies mean that education is no longer bound to the classroom;

WHEREAS university programs are increasingly forced to cater to a lack of basic skills, such as essay-writing, time management, and communication;

WHEREAS the rising levels of childhood obesity and juvenile diabetes, amongst other concerns, showcase a need for a more comprehensive look at youth health and nutrition;

WHEREAS the burden on health care and welfare services can be reduced by ensuring that students have life and job skills to maintain their own health and employment;

WHEREAS voter turnout is in decline and gentrified;

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the province call a commission in order to recommend reforms to the education system and curriculum.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT health, fitness, life skills, basic job skills, and civics be priorities in this study, and that recommendations be focused on creating a holistic education incorporating these elements.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the aforementioned elements be incorporated at all stages of education to design for lifelong learning.

Example Policy

Hey Young Liberals!

Policy Parliament is right around the corner, and as such, it’s time to flex our own policy muscles.

We’ll of course workshop our policies at our upcoming policy meeting (go and vote on a time if you haven’t already!) but here’s a place to start building out your idea.

Federal/Provincial – is your policy going to affect only Ontario or the country at large?

Title – Keep it simple, direct, and to the point.

Authorship – WHO ARE YOU!?

Preamble – “Whereas” statements, providing the background for and basis of your policy. Why do we care? Why is this important?

Direction – Your BIRT statements. What are we going to do about it? What position or actions are we going to take?

Here’s an example I happened across and borrowed from oyl.org. It’s from their 2010 Summer Fling policy document:

FEDERAL

HIGH SPEED RAIL IN CANADA: DEVELOPING A PROGRESSIVE RAIL SYSTEM, WHILE ENSURING A GREEN FUTURE

Jessica Stark and Richard Francella

WHEREAS Canada’s railway system is currently an important travel option for Canadians and is an economically and environmentally justifiable alternative to other means of transportation which produce higher emissions,

WHERAS Canada is subject to strong public pressure to achieve its carbon emission reduction targets as per the Copenhagen Accord,

WHERAS VIA Rail currently faces low ridership due to its slow travel times and aging infrastructure,

WHEREAS high speed rail has been proven to have extremely positive effects on tourism in both Europe and Asia,

WHEREAS the United States has recently unveiled a high speed rail proposal of its own, and has urged Canada to also adopt a high speed rail system in order to compliment this planned network,

WHERAS over 80% of Canadians favour the prospect high speed rail, according to a 2009 EKOS poll,

WHEREAS a high speed rail system will provide an inter-provincial transportation option that has no reliance on foreign oil and provides efficient travel times for Canadians,

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Ontario Young Liberals urge the Liberal Party of Canada to significantly increase funding and create a policy for a high speed railway system as part of its platform.

BE IT FURTHER RESOVED THAT this system would link major cities in widely used rail corridors in order to increase employment and ensure green and efficient transportation for Canadians.

BE IT FUTHER RESSOLVED THAT Canada would investigate the prospect of linking its high speed system with that of the United States in order to ensure travel constancy on shared routes.

So what are your policy ideas?  Let’s get writing!

Paddle your own canoe, guys and gals,

Trevor

Meeting Notes – June 25th, 2012

We had a full house at the Royal Oak and a full schedule!

Topics on the agenda included:

Recent and upcoming events, including the Golf Classic, Senior’s Tea, Policy Parliament, Summer Fling, and Capital Pride.

The OYL AGM, which Mr. B said “went pretty well.”

Our own OWNYL AGM, tentatively scheduled for August 20th.

A strategy to get into Algonquin College for recruitment.

Regular monthly meetings, and the location for them.

Read more in the minutes! It was great to see everyone! Thanks for coming out, folks–and special thanks to our new Eastern Region Coordinator, Allison, for making an appearance!

Minutes, June 25th, 2012

Paddle your own canoe, guys and gals.

-Trevor

A New Generation

What is Canada? Is it a country built upon the foundations of two dominant cultures? Is it a country which believes in freedom and prosperity? Following these questions are usually passionate opinions about anything from history, social justice, economics, all the way to government. Now, these perspectives are perhaps answered differently by those of us who would identify as Aboriginal peoples –First Nations, Metis, or Inuit. For centuries, on this side of the planet now known as North America, there were -and still are- many distinct peoples, from the East to the West, North to South. Today, this population is about 1,172,790 plus, and the median age of Aboriginal people, since the 2006 census, is 27. In comparison to the median age of non-Aboriginals there is a ten year gap. As an Algonquin Young Liberal I see this as an opportunity to engage with young Aboriginal people across the country. The ten year gap means that there are many interests that are not being met by traditionally non-Aboriginal institutions, such as parliament. This New Generation of Aboriginal people will either have to live with the ideals of a disillusioned Harperland, or the prospect of a new Just Society. In this article there will be some suggestions on how to engage young Aboriginal people, whether it is through social media or by incentives through the Liberal Party. I will also discuss how Aboriginal voices are capable of being applicable to Canada, while maintaining a foundation of indigenous culture.

Social media is a tool that is very powerful in the organization and distribution of information in contemporary society. Facebook, twitter, and any other form of social media have been mobilized in various ways of organizing people. The Liberal Party should take note of this when trying to branch out to young Aboriginal people. Have an online forum which invites young Aboriginal people into areas that would provide context in the creation of policy. The focus for the Liberal party should be to listen and to respect. If the Liberal Party is capable of providing a foundation for Aboriginal ideas, then peaceful and prosperous relations will follow.

The Liberal Party should also have some incentives that would provide a real look into what it means to be a Young Aboriginal person within Canada. Young Aboriginal people can show what it means to be a member of this country, while being members of their nations. It can also provide a vast rich context of how different places interact with Aboriginal people, whether it is in a fly-in community far north, or in a suburb in Toronto. A suggestion would be to not emphasize such incentives for partisan purposes. This may narrow or turn off people. It should be an incentive to participate, not indoctrinate.

As a young Aboriginal person, one should look at their own body. That body has been inherited by many centuries of survival and community. It is not a product of enslavement, nor of selfishness. It should be acknowledged that it is there for many reasons and many purposes that can be used for a great good. In Canada, that body can provide great insight to a much needed listener. To be active in national politics can serve purposes of a great good. Within every person there is a potential leader. Canada needs these leaders. That being said, it does not mean that being active in the forming of Canada equates to assimilation or conformity. Young Aboriginal leaders should not be told to follow a particular path when there is reason not to. To be a leader means that one will have the strength to retain their culture and to fight for social equality.

As a young Algonquin, I feel it is necessary to say that my opinion is not universal to all Aboriginal people, but an opinion nonetheless. In the past year, I have seen many changes, some positive, but mostly negative. It was pretty cool to be at that Liberal Biennial last January to hear an acknowledgement of the unceded Algonquin territory that the event took place on. It brought a smile across my face. I heard a similar thing said at a Crown-First Nations gathering later said by the Prime Minister. That too brought a smile. What did not bring a smile to my face was the fact that when that wampum belt was revolved to mark a “new relationship,” many budget cuts were aimed at Aboriginal programs and organizations later. Also, Conservative ministers were making claims that Aboriginal people were dysfunctional. To paraphrase, one even said that Aboriginal people hunt every day; therefore there is no problem with food security. I also cringed when I heard that the Prime Minister would rather lay blame at those people in Attawapiskat, rather than to help them. These types of actions and talk do not maintain peaceful relations between Aboriginal peoples and the crown. Liberals should take note of this now. The Liberal Party should take the initiative to try and engage young Aboriginal leaders and to encourage them to lead. By encouraging discussion and participation, peace should follow; and ensuring peace should be at the forefront of every decision, hard or easy. Peace holds communities together. Peace means mutual respect. Peace means prosperity.

Miigwetch, Merci, and Thank You

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