The Canadian federal government led by Harper’s Conservatives may be notorious for their utter contempt for the environment and unflinching support for fossil fuels, but Canadian provinces and municipalities are putting forth initiatives to meet the challenge of climate change and environmental degradation.
In addition to carbon pricing schemes in some provinces, municipal governments are leading regional efforts to combat climate change in the country. Hundreds of communities across our country are coming together to oppose Harper and protect the people and places that make Canada one of the world’s great nations.
In addition to being the first place in North America to completely eliminate coal fired power generation, Ontario has high hopes for environmental legislation with the re-election of the provincial liberals.
The Quebec government announced that it will be investing $12-million in a pilot project aimed at putting electric buses on Montreal streets. In October 2013, the Parti Québécois announced that it would invest $516-million to develop an electric vehicle industry in the province that will build electric cars, electric railways, and related infrastructure. The initiative is part of the City Of Montreal’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.
On the federal level the government is downsizing Canada Post. This is good news for the environment as less mail means less emissions associated with transport and fewer trees destroyed for paper. The need for traditional mail services is declining due to increasing use of electronic communications.
Although ignored by Stephen Harper, some 300 scientists urged the Prime Minister to reject a report that recommended approval of a major oil pipeline to the west coast of British Columbia. The scientists described the report approving the oil pipeline as a “flawed analysis” that downplayed key environmental impacts.
Despite the Harper government’s effort to triple the expansion of the tar sands, market forces may also slow the growth of Canada’s fossil fuel industry. Investment in the oil sands have dropped off and there is shrinking foreign investment in Canada’s oil patch.
One of the most important pieces of recent environmental news concerns a recent Supreme Court decision that requires approval from aboriginal communities for logging, fossil fuel and mining projects.
© 2014, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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