Recent Environment Canada reports show that the Harper administration does not have the policies in place necessary to meet Canada’s existing environmental commitments, which have already been criticised as being the feeblest in the industrialised world. For instance, Canada was the only country to weaken its climate target under the Copenhagen Accord, and has since become the only country to formally withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol.
“At a time when institutions such as the World Bank and the International Energy Agency are calling for more climate action it is disappointing to have so many countries still being reluctant to move forward,” said Wendel Trio, Director of the European-based Climate Action Network and lead investigator for the 2013 Climate Change Performance Index, “Canada is a strong example of this lack of willingness to improve climate policies.”
Last month’s PRISM revelations are a disconcerting reminder that even here in Canada, paranoid fantasies about mass government surveillance are more than a work of fiction.
It’s no secret that the province of Alberta, the government Canada, and the titans of the fossil fuel industry pride themselves on robust regulatory and oversight structures when it comes to the extraction of natural resources.
“Environmental protection is a priority for our government and Canada is a global environmental leader,” said Canada’s Natural Resources Minister, Joe Oliver. “This is why Canada's oil sands are subject to some of the most stringent environmental regulations and monitoring in the world.”
“The regulations that are in place are very stringent, the most stringent in North America and certainly around the world,” added Alberta’s Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, Diana McQueen. “We have a lot of development in this province, but we also have very tough regulations with regards to any spills that happen.”
“The system is working,” continued Alberta Energy Regulator CEO Jim Ellis. “We have the resources we need now to properly regulate it. And that includes compliance, on the ground inspections, regulations… They are capably handling the workload right now.”
Big Industry has committed some of the most atrocious crimes against the environment in Canada and around the world with little fear of reprisal. This is Part Two of a two–part series highlighting some small and large-scale instances of industrial–environmental greenwashing and misdirection in an attempt to better hold conglomerates accountable to the Canadian public.
Big Industry has committed some of the most atrocious crimes against the environment in Canada and around the world with little fear of reprisal. This is Part One of a two–part series highlighting some small and large-scale instances of industrial–environmental greenwashing and misdirection in an attempt to better hold conglomerates accountable to the Canadian public. Read Part 2 here.