Peter Tabuns spent seven years as a Toronto city councillor before entering the provincial legislature in 2006. He has served as executive director of Greenpeace Canada and climate change advisor to then-NDP leader Jack Layton. He introduced provincial legislation on climate change, community disclosure of toxins and pollutants, electricity conservation, and prohibition of hydraulic fracturing (fracking). As the New Democrats’ environment and energy critic, he supported government bills to phase out coal, conserve water, protect the Great Lakes, and support the province’s trail network. In 2017 he won a Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifelong commitment to sustainability.
Full Environmental History
1980s - President of Citizens for a Safe Environment, where he lobbied successfully to end garbage incineration in the Toronto Portlands.
1980s - Co-op housing manager in Toronto, where he drove and carried out an extensive conservation project.
1990-1997 - City Councillor, where he drove establishment of the city’s Better Buildings Partnership that carries out energy retrofits for commercial buildings.
- Member (1990-1993) and Chair (1993-1997) of the Board of Health, where he drove a campaign to phase out the use of toxic plastic (PVC) in city operations and worked to ban smoking in food courts, restaurants and bars.
- Member of the City Services Committee, where he fought for people to be able to naturalize their lawns without using of pesticides.
1998-2004 - Executive Director of Greenpeace Canada, where he pressed government officials to adopt the Kyoto Protocol.
2004-2006 - Climate Change Advisor for Jack Layton, where he helped draft the NDP’s Kyoto plan.
2006-present - NDP MPP for Toronto-Danforth, where he has served as the Environment and Energy Critic for many years and introduced the following environmental bills:
- Bill 179, Ontario Climate Change Act (2006), which would reduce GHG emissions to align with the Kyoto Protocol.
- Bill 76, Community Right to Know Act (2008), which would require the Minister of the Environment to establish a pollutant inventory.
- Bill 79, Northern York Region Power Conservation Act (2008), which sought to conserve electricity by prohibiting operation/construction of simple-cycle generating stations with a generating capacity of 30+ MW.
- Bill 82, Oil, Gas, and Salt Resources Amendment Act (2016), which would prohibit hydraulic fracturing of oil or gas trapped in shale.