Under Harper’s Conservatives Canada’s environment is under threat. Canada’s ecological problems include a wide range of issues that impact people, individual species and entire ecosystems.
The ruling Conservative government is at odds with Canadians on climate change. Harper’s Conservatives have a history ofcontempt for the environment. Despite the fact that the world urged Canada to do more on the environmental front, Conservatives have amassed a deplorable track record on some of the most important environmental issues, including the way they have handledinternational climate change summits and greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
Due to the country’s dependence on oil, Canada is a world leader in GHG emissions. Harper’s Conservatives are working to ramp-up tar sands oil production which cause up to five times the climate change pollution of conventional crude oil. The proposed Canadian Enbridge Northern Gateway oil sands pipeline would cut through British Columbia’s pristine temperate rainforests and coastal ecosystems to export tar sand oil to Asia. For more information or to take action click here.
Canada’s woodland caribou are an example of one species that is in urgent danger. In Alberta, some herds have less than 100 caribou left. Caribou are considered threatened species under Canada’s Species at Risk Act, yet Alberta’s tar sands development and forestry industry operations are driving vulnerable herds to the brink of survival. For more information or to take action clickhere.
Canada enacted the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) in June 2003 to address the mounting threats to Canada’s endangered animals. But the Canadian government is failing to fulfill its duty of care toward our nation’s wildlife by refusing to properly implement the Act.
Many of Canada’s endangered animals live in the Arctic, which is suffering disproportionally from the consequences of global warming. Research shows that temperatures in the Arctic are rising at almost twice the rate of the rest of the world. As a result, Arctic sea ice is shrinking by up to 5% every ten years. This is crucial because sea ice not only provides hunting ground for polar bears, but shelter and transportation for seals, walrus, arctic foxes, and the Inuit people.
The underside of Arctic ice provides a surface for algae that support cod, char, beluga, and narwhal. The white sea ice also has a cooling effect on climate by reflecting light away from Earth’s surface. As the Arctic continues to melt, global warming will advance even more quickly. For more information or to take action click here.
There are a total of 256 species that are listed by the Scientific Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) as being extinct, extirpated, endangered, threatened or vulnerable. In Canada environmental degradation is widespread. For more detailed information about the state of Canada’s environment see the WWF’s Canadian Living Planet Report
A comparison of the environmental platforms of the four national parties in Canada reveals that the Conservatives are the worst choice for the environment. In 2008 they laughed at Dion’s Green Shift platform and we have had ample opportunity to see them put their environmental disregard into action.
Contrary to the traditional view, Conservatives are not the party for the economy either. Their lack of action on the environmentundermines Canada’s international competitiveness and this is a high priority economic issue.
© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.