This past spring, Kitchener-Waterloo MPP Elizabeth Witmer resigned to embark on a new opportunity as chair of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. As such, residents of the riding of Kitchener-Waterloo will head to the polls in a by-election scheduled for Thursday, September 6th to elect her replacement. This by-election is unique. While they are typically only of local significance, because the Liberal government is just one seat shy of controlling a majority of the seats in the legislature, this by-election (and another one that will be held on the same day in Vaughan to replace Liberal MPP Greg Sorbara) could re-shape the political landscape in Ontario.

In the lead-up to last fall’s general election in Ontario, Sustainable Waterloo Region partnered to create a non-partisan expert review of the energy policies of leading political parties, entitled Ontario’s Energy Future: A Climate Change Perspective, with the goal of informing the debate surrounding the province’s energy and climate future. The policies are reviewed from a climate change perspective by considering how the policies will mitigate against, or adapt to, the impacts of climate change. Twelve questions were submitted to the parties in relation to the categories of electricity, natural gas and heating, transportation, jobs and business, and the provincial budget and private cost impacts.

Now, one year later, Sustainable Waterloo Region has invited each of the four local by-election candidates to contribute a guest blog and inform the reader:

  1. How their party’s platform has evolved over the past year
  2. What they see as the most pressing environment issues in Waterloo Region and Ontario as a whole
  3. How the provincial government can support organizations in becoming more environmentally sustainable
  4. Why they, and their party, are the best choice for action on the environment and organizational sustainability

The responses will be posted here, on our blog, in the order we receive them, over the next couple of weeks.

Our government is a reflection of our values, as surveyed at the ballot box. I hope that you will read the responses of the candidates and read the Ontario’s Energy Future report in order to become informed on the pressing issues in this election, and above all else, vote for a future where a strong economy and vibrant environment exist interdependently.

For more information on voting please visit Elections Ontario at:


For the Ontario Liberal Party response, click here.

For the Green Party of Ontario response, click .

For the Ontario PC Party response, click .

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