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Help draft the motions: 12 environmental wishes for 2012

Posted by Kirsty Duncan on January 6, 2012 | No Comments

As I plan ahead for 2012, I’m building a different kind of wish list.

It’s a list of motions I’ll be placing on the House of Commons Order Paper over the course of this year.

But first, I want your input in the comments below. Please take a look at my 6 wishes below, and then help me draft an additional 6. I want the government to know these motions were drafted with direct input from Canadian citizens and that they cannot be ignored.

Welcome to the Parliamentary process! I look forward to hearing from you.

- Kirsty Duncan

Liberal Environment Critic

Wish 1) That the government return science to its rightful place by reversing the cuts to Environment Canada, sufficiently funding environmental programmes and scientists, and developing a scientific integrity policy, including allowing scientists to speak freely to the media.

That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) recognise that Environment Canada’s ability to protect environmental and human health depends on scientific excellence and integrity; (b) ensure that Environment Canada programmes and scientists are fully funded to support scientific excellence; (c) ensure Environment Canada policies, decisions, guidance and regulations that impact the lives of Canadians are based on the highest quality science; (d) develop a scientific integrity policy to foster the highest degree of accountability, integrity, and transparency in conducting, utilising, and communicating science within and outside Environment Canada, and protect the department’s scientific findings from being altered, distorted or suppressed, in order to strengthen confidence in the quality, validity, and reliability of Environment Canada’s science.

Wish 2) That Canada take a leadership role at the next global environmental conference, RIO + 20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, rather than the obstructionist role taken at COP 17.

That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) renew its commitment to the environment and sustainable development; (b) ensure it meets environmental and sustainable development goals to which it has committed internationally, including, but not limited to, contributing its fair share to staying below a 2°C increase in global average surface temperature relative to the pre-industrial level; (c) review its progress to date regarding the environment and sustainable development, and identify any gaps in its implementation of the Canada Federal Sustainable Development Strategy; (d) identify new and emerging challenges within Canada and internationally; and (e) commit to taking a leadership role at RIO + 20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, rather than the obstructionist role taken at the 17th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and commit to working constructively towards a successful conference with practical results.

Wish 3) That the government develop and implement a green economy strategy so that Canada can lead in jobs and in the new economy.

That, in the opinion of the House, the federal government should: (a) recognize that it is no longer a choice between saving our economy and saving our environment, but rather being a producer and consumer in the old economy, and being a leader in the new economy; (b) recognize that Canada has lagged in its efforts to green its economy with Canada having invested $3 billion in green stimulus spending, the United States $112 billion, and China $221 billion in green infrastructure; (c) initiate discussions with provinces, territories, municipalities, labour organizations, industry sectors, First Nations and others to develop a green economy strategy for Canada, with goals for 2015, 2020, 2025 and 2030 so that Canada can lead in the new economy and jobs; (d) ensure that the strategy include skills development, training programs, certification courses, and transitional policies for workers and communities whose jobs could be lost or significantly changed by the shift to a greener economy; and (e) publish employment consequences of new federal policies in an annual report to Parliament.

Wish 4) That the government show leadership on climate change by accepting the science of climate change, developing a comprehensive climate change plan, and meeting its international greenhouse gas commitments to protect Canadians from annual adaptation costs of $21-43 billion by 2050, and the world from a two degree Celsius warming associated with dangerous climate change.

That, in the opinion of the House, the federal government should: (a) accept the science of climate change; (b) table a comprehensive climate change plan, rather than its sector-by-sector approach; (c) commit to attaining its greenhouse gas emission reduction goals that it has supported internationally, namely, for 2020, a domestic emission target of 17% below the 2005 level; and (d) commit to its fair contribution to staying below a 2°C increase in global average surface temperature relative to the pre-industrial level, a goal which it supported through the G8 meeting in L’Aquila, Italy, and at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations through the Copenhagen Accord in December 2009 and the Cancun Agreements in December 2010.

Wish 5) That the government develop a pan-Canadian sustainable energy strategy with goals and targets for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and transportation, a fund for climate neutral pilot projects for municipalities, as well as a long-term plan for management of the oil sands.

That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) recognize that 84% of Canadian thought leaders from academia, government, industry, institutions and non-profit organizations give poor ratings to Canada’s dependence on fossil fuels and carbon pricing; (b) recognize that 69% of Canadian thought leaders view federal government leadership as the key factor affecting implementation of sustainable energy solutions; (c) recognize that non-renewable, high-carbon energy sources are unsustainable, and that Canada must plan for a transition to more sustainable energy sources; (d) recognize the need for a national sustainable energy and economic growth strategy to position Canada to succeed in the global economy; (e) accept moral and intergenerational responsibility, and make progress on its 2020 greenhouse gas emission reduction target; (f) recognize that the opportunity to keep the average global temperature rise to 2° C relative to the pre-industrial temperature level is in serious danger; and (g) develop a pan-Canadian sustainable energy strategy with goals and targets for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and transportation.

That, in the opinion of the House, the government should develop a pan-Canadian plan for energy efficiency, which sets targets for increased energy efficiency for the years 2020, 2030, 2040 and 2050.

That, in the opinion of the House, the government should develop targets for the deployment of low-impact renewable energy in Canada for the years 2020, 2030, 2040 and 2050, and an action plan to achieve the established targets.

That, in the opinion of the House, the government should develop a strategy for sustainable transportation in Canada that sets targets for 2020, 2030, 2040 and 2050.

That, in the opinion of the House, the government should develop a fund for climate neutral pilot projects for municipalities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible, and to use carbon offsets to neutralize unavoidable emissions.

That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) initiate discussions with the Province of Alberta, industry sectors, labour organizations, municipalities, First Nations and others to develop a long-term plan for management of the oil sands including, but not limited to, regulating pace and scale of development; (b) ensure that progress is being made to protect air quality, boreal forest ecosystems, water, and other natural resources; (c) ensure appropriate scientific assessments are being undertaken to investigate the potential environmental and human health impacts of oil sands development; and (e) table solutions to protect and remediate the environment, including, but not limited to, requiring best available technologies to reduce air emissions, and prohibiting water withdrawals during low-flow periods.

Wish 6) That the government take all necessary steps to meet its international commitments to address the steep decline in the health of our oceans, and to work with partners to establish 12 new marine protected areas by the end of 2012.

M-295 — November 23, 2011 — Ms. Duncan (Etobicoke North) — That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) act immediately to address the steep decline in the health of our oceans and to support communities that depend on healthy oceans for their long-term sustainability; (b) work with partners to establish 12 new marine protected areas by the end of 2012; (c) take all steps possible to meet Canada’s international commitments to create a network of marine protected areas by 2012; and (d) protect ten percent of our ocean estate by 2020.

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  1. Profile photo of Patrick Hamilton Patrick Hamilton said on

    Kirsty: What a terrific wish list…..if the Govt implemented them all what a happy person I would be…..but I know the chances of the govt running with these motions are slim….all the more reason for Liberals to fight doubly hard to throw these Con environmental dinosaurs and climate change deniers out in 2015! Keep fighting the good fight Kristy!

    Two wishes that I would like to see, but what could be placed in along wish 1 or 6, and 5:

    Reversing the cuts at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans….which have taken pace even while cod stocks continue to crash on the East coast, and Coho salmon and oolichan stocks crash on the West.
    Well managed and sustainable fisheries, as Alaska has done, will provide much needed protein for the worlds increasing population.

    A strategy to support research into the large scale production of cellulosic ethanol, as well as biofuels produced from algae, to assist in the weaning of Canadians consumption of fossil fuels.
    These processes would reduce the consumption of grains and beans currently used in the production of biofuels, and allow them to freed up for use as foodstuffs, which an overpopulated Earth desperately needs.

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  2. Profile photo of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

    Dear Patrick,

    Hello, warm wishes, and Happy New Year!
    Always a pleasure to hear from you–and thank you for the suggestions.
    Sending good wishes,
    Kirsty

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  3. Profile photo of Jennifer Ross Jennifer Ross said on

    These are great, Kirsty, and I thank you for both your wonderful efforts and your continuing engaging and involving us.

    My suggestion is for fresh-water resources–the fact that we are the world’s largest keeper of this most vital of any and all resources for the survival of our species and most others. I’d like to see robust monitoring and clean up efforts where required on our Great Lakes, but also Lake Winnipeg apparently has some issues, and I’m sure there are others all across the country. But most of all, I’d like to see an immediate and total ban on turning our lakes into tailings ponds!

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    • Profile photo of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

      Oh Jennifer,

      Just wanted to add–you will see your freshwater ideas reflected in the next six wishes which will be posted after the convention!

      Kirsty

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    • Profile photo of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

      Thanks Jennifer,

      Lovely to hear from you!

      It has been a while–good points, particularly about clean-up of our contaminated sites.

      As always, thank you for your input,
      Kirsty

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  4. Profile photo of Gary Martin Gary Martin said on

    Great list!

    “That, in the opinion of the House, the government should develop a fund for climate neutral pilot projects for municipalities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible, and to use carbon offsets to neutralize unavoidable emissions.”

    http://www.naturalnews.com/034440_renewable_energy_Germany_power_grid.html

    German village of Wildpoldsried, population 2,600, has had such incredible success in building its renewable energy system. Wildpoldsried generates 321 percent more renewable energy than it uses, and it now sells the excess back to the national power grid for roughly $5.7 million in additional revenue every single year.

    By utilizing a unique combination of solar panels, “biogas” generators, natural wastewater treatment plants, and wind turbines, Wildpoldsried has effectively eliminated its need to be attached to a centralized power grid, and created a thriving renewable energy sector in the town that is self-sustaining and abundantly beneficial for the local economy, the environment, and the public.

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    • Profile photo of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

      Dear Gary,

      Always a pelasure to hear from you!

      Glad you gave this example–Gary, I think you would also be interested in what Arendal, Norway is doing, as well as broader Norwegian initiatives, including with vessels.

      Yours very truly,
      Kirsty

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  5. Profile photo of Jarek Walter Jarek Walter said on

    Kirsty: Your energy level to fight for causes so important to all of us is amazing. I hope it will stay on the same level throughout 2012.
    My wish: The Government will provide the detailed report in response to your questions related to the hydraulic fracturing used in the production of natural gas.

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    • Profile photo of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

      Hello, warm wishes, and thanks for the message!

      Please call my office at 613 995 4702, and we’ll make sure you get a copy of the government’s answers,
      Yours very truly,
      Kirsty

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  6. Profile photo of Hugh Ferguson Hugh Ferguson said on

    I would say that wishes #1, #3, and #5 are the best ones to focus on, at least from a politics POV because these are the ones that best translate into jobs and prosperity – two things you need if you want to win the hearts and minds of the electorate.

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    • Profile photo of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

      Dear Hugh,

      Hello and thanks for your input!

      Thank you for pointing out that the economy and the environment are two sides of the same coin.

      In 2000, the World Resources Institute wrote: ‘At the dawn of a new century, we have the ability to change the vital systems of this planet, for better or worse. To change them for the better,we must recognize that the well-being of people and ecosystems is interwoven and the fabric is fraying.’

      I think it is important that we remember that environmental degradation erodes biological capital forever, and that ecological and social costs must enter equations of development.

      Thanks again for the post!
      Yours truly,
      Kirsty

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  7. Profile photo of Richard Richard said on

    Kristy You have put together a great list. I hope you have some success in 2012.
    I wondering if we should be building a preparation strategy for the west coast. In the next couple of years, that coast is going to become, a garbage dump with items coming from the disaster in Japan.
    To expect B.C. to foot the bill alone, is not realistic and maybe Canada as country, shouldn’t have to either.
    Are there international laws or regulations to help with this? Should the federal government, be going on the world stage, to get something started. We have our US neigbours to help, push this along, for they are in teh same boat.

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    • Profile photo of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

      Dear Rick,
      You are all keeping me very busy today, and I thank you for this.
      Thank you for your post!
      Concerns have arisen about the potential effects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power installation’s impact on the marine environment and resources.
      Radioactive iodine-131 has a half-life of about 8 days, cesium-134 has a half-life of ~ 2years, and cesium-137 has a half-life of ~30 years.
      Scientists have stated that radiation in the atmosphere and ocean would very quickly become diluted and should not prove to be a serious health threat.
      One issue was whether radioactivity from Fukushima would find its way to another part of the world through food or other commercial products. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the damage to infrastructure in Japan has limited food production. Food products from the areas near the Fukushima nuclear facility, including seafood, are to be tested by FDA before they can enter the U.S. food supply.
      Perhaps we should be asking what lessons we should learn from the nuclear meltdown?
      Yours very truly,
      Kirsty

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  8. Profile photo of Richard Richard said on

    Wish 7) That the federal government start talks with all provincial and territories to establish a nation wide strategies on air, water, land use, handling and disposal of environmentally sensitive materials, comprehensive plan on reduction of garbage (waste of any kind) by the end of 2012.

    Wish 8) That the federal government establish a parliamentary approved plan for the development and human driven actions, for the far North. This plan to include, environmental issues in all its aspects, the long range damage to the area. The disposal of waste and responsible of business and citizens to the north.
    The criteria that business must in engage with the indigenous people and how that must be done.

    Wish 9) That the federal government start talks with all provincial and territories to establish, strong import regulations on products entering Canada from other countries. Implementation of stringent regulations on products entering Canada that do not meet our standards. Sub standard, falsified logo-ing, not to be permitted entry.

    Wish 10) That the federal government start talks with all provincial, territories and municipalities to establish a transportation, sewer, water run off, green spaces, strategies for across Canada

    Wish 11) That the federal government start talks with all provincial, territories and municipalities to establish a comprehensive, inter relationship of parks, bicycle, walking/hiking paths and general nation wide “get healthy” strategies.

    Wish 12) That the federal government start talks with all provincial, territories and municipalities to establish a plan, for a plant, a plant program. Such as tree planting, community gardens, school teaching programs, senior/youth planting programs etc. Waste areas, created by road ways, railways, industrial waste sites,
    Idle government land to be reclaimed. Idle land, left by industry be recycled. Rules and regulation to make business clean up there ‘old’ sites.

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    • Profile photo of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

      Dear Rick,

      Thank you for your very thoughtful wish list.

      I will add your ideas to my growing list of members’ thoughts, ideas, and wishes; I appreciate your ideas about the north, infrastructure (green infrastructure), and healthy/sustainable cities.

      Rick, these are the first of six wishes, and motions that I hope our members will comment on; after the convention, we will post another six wishes for your comment.
      As always, thank you for contributing!
      Kirsty

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  9. Profile photo of Ken Cunningham Ken Cunningham said on

    Good stuff Kirsty,
    My focus as ever is a little narrow but i have real concerns over the govt’s plans for the gateway project and how this fits into any meaningful national energy strategy.
    Perhaps there’s a slim opportunity of slipping a wedge between Redford and Harper re. the oilsands. My feeling is Ms Redford is far more receptive to doing things diferently, perhaps thinking a little more about a value added industry with stronger links to the RoC[ maybe a pipeline to eastern Canada]; obviously she will receive stiff resistance from the continentalist oil industry – but i sense she could be an ally against Harperism.
    My background severely limits any meaningful constructive ideas i can put out, but it seems this is going to be a very hard square to circle…how to support AB and the west in responsibly developing its resources, including the matter of how to access new markets,and not increase the pressure on CC. I mean is it in any way consistent with the govt’s stated goal of bringing China/India into the regulated emmiters circle if we are proposing to ship off ever increasing amounts of some of the world’s dirtiest oil to them? Really, Chinese policy makers can detect hypocrisy as readily a we can.
    This raises an important question – do we as matter of policy support the export of oil sands production to new markets? Environmentalists like me can’t win on all fronts – perhaps we can get behind the export to the US if there are is some kind of plan to eventually wean all of us of fossil fuels.
    Staying with BC i believe the salmon flue scandal has the potential to escalate[ as it should]. What can we do to put pressure on the DFO to operate in the best interests of BC and their mandate to protect the environment,the wild salmon, instead of carrying water for the fish farm corps?
    Best of luck Kirsty, you have a tough job.

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    • Profile photo of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

      Dear Ken,
      Happy New Year to you and your family!
      I appreciate your concerns–I hope the one motion is asking the right questions about the oil sands. What are your thoughts?
      I have spent the last two days intensively researching pipelines, and am looking forward to discussions with other caucus members on this important topic.
      Thank you for raising the issue of fisheries, as this has come up a number of times now in the discussion.
      Ken, thanks again for your input; it is appreciated,
      Kirsty

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      • Profile photo of Ken Cunningham Ken Cunningham said on

        I like then all Kirsty – though i’m no kind of expert on how to word parliamentary questions.
        That said i like the way one leads quite naturally into the other, and the emphasis on pan Canadian is worth pursuing – nice touch.
        IMHO the first one may be the most important one to nail down – it’s vital the govt doesn’t get to quietly gut Environment Canada AND expand pipelines, not to mention all the other indispensible services EC provides the country.
        From a political pov i’d like to reiterate there may well be some daylight to exploit between the govt’s rhetoric on emissions reductions and its desire to sell heavy oil all over the developing world at an unacceptable level of risk to our environment. Canada has to face the fact that becoming an energy superpower AND claiming to doing its part to reduce GHG emissions is cognitively dissonant. Playing drug pusher to the world’s addiction is no kind of leadership at all.

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        • Profile photo of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

          Dear Ken,

          Thank you, as always for the comments.

          I have them jotted down!
          Sending good wishes to you and your family,
          Kirsty

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  10. Profile photo of Lorna Mae Sutherland Lorna Mae Sutherland said on

    Your list is excellent
    The federal government will not be able to abdsorb all the words let alone create all the needed actions.
    You need to prioritize what you suggest and all so the action outcomes you want achieved
    Lorna Sutherland

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    • Profile photo of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

      Thanks Lorna for your kindness.

      Thank you for taking the time and effort to consider and post, and for your input.

      All are very much appreciated,
      Kirsty

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  11. Profile photo of Mark Scoville Mark Scoville said on

    I love “your wish list”.

    If science is to be restored to its rightful place atop the climate change debate, would it not be worthwhile to also include a statement that allows/requires Environment Canada to make public a periodic summary of its empirical findings? Perhaps a resolution along this line in your wish list would go a long way toward assuring scientists and Canadians that the data will be free from political and/or corporate misrepresentation.

    Honest research would welcome and even benefit from such scrutiny.

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    • Profile photo of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

      Dear Mark,

      Hello and warm wishes.

      Thank you for your kind email.

      I agree that we must return science to its rightful place, and I think this will require scientific integrity policies–we want more transparency.

      I thought that you might like to know that the climate impacts and adaptation research group at Environment Canada is being cut.The research group was started 17 years ago. It performs groundbreaking research by examining how climate change affects agriculture, human health and water quality in Canada. Some of its scientists shared part of the 2007 Nobel Peace Price on Climate Change.

      Thank you so much for writing,
      Yours truly,
      Kirsty

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  12. Profile photo of Anton  Miller Anton Miller said on

    As a supporter of the Liberal Party for the past few years, I am waiting anxiously to see what direction the Party follows with respect to energy and the environment. In my opinion, the Liberal Party should be very active in educating the public and lobbying government and industry on ways to make oil sands mining and regular oil and natural gas extraction cleaner and greener, while at the same time encouraging the development of alternative sources of energy. We should not, however, be trying to shut down the oils sands, or the oil and gas industries, or to block their avenues of export. These industries are an incredibly important source of energy for us, and contribute significantly to our national prosperity. To strive towards shutting them down is entirely hypocritical for all of us who drive cars, fly on jet planes or buy products imported by ship. It is also shooting ourselves in the foot as citizens who share in the largesse of this integral part of the Canadian economy. There can be no doubt that mining and extraction of energy-related resources can be done far more cleanly, and I hope that the Party will demonstrate leadership in this direction.

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    • Profile photo of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

      Hello and warmest wishes!

      Thank you for posting, and your concerns.

      Please let us know what you think about wishes 3 and 5 and their accompanying motions.I have noted down your specific concerns.

      Thank you for your time and effort in contributing!
      Yours very turly,
      Kirsty

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  13. Profile photo of said on

    Given that putting a price on carbon is a more efficient method of reducing GHG emissions than threatening to regulate coal plants or maybe none, or influencing pipeline decisions, or picking a brand of bananas, and given that 3 provinces (BC, Quebec, and Alberta) have a carbon tax of some kind, and others have joined the WCI, that the Federal government in cooperation with provinces adopt a carbon pricing framework involving both levels of government.

    Given that the energy intensity of Canada’s economy is much higher and more costly than that of other countries, and given that virtually all energy sources, including coal, bitumen, gas, hydro, and nuclear, have an environmental cost, that a large reduction of this intensity should be an environmental and an economic goal.

    Given that tropospheric ozone and fine particulates have a real effect on human health, and that reducing its sources is now within reach, that all 3 levels of government adopt more ambitious new Canada-wide standards for these and other pollutants, and that upwind jurisdictions be given special attention and assistance.

    That a program for achieving zero fugitive emissions from the entire oil and gas supply chain from the well to combustion be instituted, rather than a piecemeal approach with large gaps.

    That a government have the courage to include agriculture in the list of industries that can contribute positively rather than negatively to environmental issues including water, soil, emissions, and pesticides, without having to rely on farmers and consumers taking the cost and initiative upon themselves.

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    • Profile photo of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

      Dear William,

      Hello, warm wishes, and Happy New Year!

      Thank you for contributing your wishes–your time and effort are appreciated.

      Thank you for raising atmospheric issues–namely O3 and particulates–and their impacts on human health.

      Yours very truly,
      Kirsty

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  14. Profile photo of Ken Cunningham Ken Cunningham said on

    Not sure what we are doing as a party or indeed as a country to address energy conservation Kirsty?
    Perhaps this could be another pillar of our enviro platform? I’d like to see more done to address consuming less of everything, rather then just finding new technological solutions to problems[ which is important]. The fact is we [N. America] consume an embarrassingly disproportionate percentage of the world’s non renewable resources; too much energy, too much water, too many fat people…it’s awful. Freedom to do what you want isn’t a license to consume all you want.
    As a matter of practicality i’d like to see us engage the public and the business world in finding and implementing practical, well thought out ways to consume less, use less, waste less of everything…energy conservation first and foremost.
    As someone said above likely the most effective and simplest way to achieve this on a macro level is to get behind a national carbon tax – how to implement this without setting SH’s hair on fire is for you political warriors to figure out. My advice – keep the pressure on from the bottom up[ mayors, municipalities, community groups] and work collaboratively with the premiers.Eventually the wolf pack pulls down even the strongest old bull moose.

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    • Profile photo of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

      Dear Ken,

      Hello and always a pleasure to hear from you!

      Yes, conservation–a very good point.

      Do we need to increase energy literacy in this country?

      What do you think about the following?

      That, in the opinion of the House, the government should develop an action plan to increase energy literacy in Canada, and establish benchmarks for achieving the plan’s goals.
      Yours very truly,
      Kirsty

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  15. Profile photo of Don Girard Don Girard said on

    Tough position Kristy, but one that can show Canadians what we want, and how to get it, and create new jobs for the ones that have to be removed, and what the liberal party is all about.

    Carbon taxes seem very unpalatable, but if they were presented as a no overall tax increase, ie all taxes collected would be aimed solely at green projects, be they government building upgrades, or R&D projects or start up monies, they may be received better. Always a financial statement on what is collected and itemized to where it was going helps all see where the money is spent. Carbon tax could be spent as rebates to persons buying yearly public transport tickets, and who leave their cars at home. We would even need fewer highways, and the increased rider ship could build new fast transit. We just do not like taxes going to general revenue, where it disappears and is never enough. I do not mind spending a little more if I can see where it is going or that my neighbour now has a job on a clean energy project.

    I am totally against any tax that is aimed at buying carbon credits, a plan made to allow big corporations and the CPC to avoid responsibility, and to pollute at will.

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  16. Profile photo of Don Girard Don Girard said on

    On the BC coast it seems fish farms are going in almost at will. New technology is available that reduces much of the damage these farms do, so a law that demands all fish farms have to only use the new technology within 2 years, that no new farms will be approved until the new technology proves itself, say for 5 years. Also rules that stops and removes any fish farms that are within 50 miles of major spawning rivers, fry return routes etc are needed. Destroying one industry to create another is stupid. This could apply to the east coast as well, and then maybe some of the other natural species will recover and so will employment. There are other reasons as well, I do not know if you have eaten both a farm fish and a wild fish, one is a disgusting piece of meat and the other a delicious meal, and I would gamble that the one is wholly nutritious and the other barely useable.

    Another is that long lining, one of the most destructive ways to fish should be banned totally in Canadian waters. It is not selective, destroys everything that is hooked, and is noted world wide as the destroyer of many large fish species.

    Canadians need to know what is happening, opposition can do that. Change will only happen if we all know about it, and want it to happen, opposition lets us inform and informing is better than name calling.

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    • Profile photo of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

      Dear Don,

      Hello, warm wishes, and happy New Year!

      Thank you for the time and effort in posting.

      The fishing industry is increasingly receiving attention–I will bring this up with other critics, who also have repsonsibility in this area.

      I have also noted your next ideas, and I thank you.
      I am grateful for your thoughts and input,
      kirsty

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  17. Profile photo of David Moule David Moule said on

    Hi Kirsty:
    I agree with your wish list, but there is one thing I think is missing. What is the Liberal Party position on the Northern Gateway Pipeline? This is the most urgent specific issue on the table right now. And the government has just declared open warfare on anyone who seeks to oppose this outrageous project. At the very least, as we enter a hearing before an “independent” review panel, the government should not be taking sides on the issue and seeking to discredit citizens and groups that want to have a say in the decision. How far will this government go to undermine democracy in this country?

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    • Profile photo of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

      Hello, and thank you for your time and effort in writing.

      Thank you for raising the urgency–yes, the wishes, were posted before the open letter was written.

      Your point is very well taken, and will be a matter of discussion.
      Sending good wishes,
      Yours very truly,
      Kirsty

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  18. Profile photo of Jean-Paul Murray Jean-Paul Murray said on

    Hi Kirsty,

    The Liberals should adopt a motion regarding Gatineau Park. The following motion is consistent with the policy on the issue formulated in a press release issued by Pontiac Liberal candidate Cindy Duncan MacMillan. It is also consistent with the position of Liberal senators as formulated in their speeches on Bill S-210 (DeBané and Banks)in 2006.

    That in the opinion of this House the government should enact legislation to protect Gatineau Park by mandating conservation and ecological integrity as top management priorities, enshrining boundaries in legislation that can only be changed by legislation, respecting Quebec’s territorial integrity, acquiring private properties through right of first refusal and dedicating the park to future generations.

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  19. Profile photo of Robert Halter Robert Halter said on

    Hi Kristy

    A pretty exciting Convention going on, but since its still fairly early here I’m taking the time to make my addition while I still have the time available.

    I’m in 100% agreement with Ken. Everything he’s proposing is very strategic and is something we can pursue without the Harper Gov’t Who I’m convince isn’t going to be moved by any proposals made in the House. However that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be making any. The fight for the environment needs to be taken everywhere there is a place to take it to.

    I’m still not convinced your beholding to reducing Carbon emissions is move forward though, but if it is the only position you have the option to take, something is at least better than nothing at all. I’d go along with the implementation of the introduction of a carbon tax as long as its kept within our Country and is parcelled out exclusively for green developments. Whether that be funding a rapid transit, energy conservation or developing new environmental friendly greenhouse gas free technologies.

    I spent the summer working in MacKenzie BC and not far from there I saw a project that boggled the mind when I thought about it. There is a rail-road that runs on electricity that runs from close to Prince George to a place called Tumbler Ridge. My first thought was wow what a great saving to the environment, then I found out what they do with it. There is an enormous open pit mine at Tumbler and the rail-road is used to haul coal. The reason the train is electric is it has to pass through the base of the mountain and if they used diesels. The train wouldn’t make it. So I certainly wouldn’t be in favour of investing in any just any electric train.

    I also think its imperative that we enlist the help of first Nations Peoples regarding any wilderness industrial development and not just restrict their input regarding developments on or in their own lands. They are naturally equipped to perceive what’s in the best for the environment. If we gave these people the opportunity to become educated in related fields, the depth of their knowledge would be enable them to provide us with a spectacular degree of vision regarding the safe keeping of the environment.

    Last but not least. I think we need to get very serious about targeting and implementing an viable replacement fuel for all of our vehicles. We are never going to curtail the oil and gas industries destruction of the environment, until we make its use completely redundant. Considering the vastness of and the variance in the climate in this country. I think we will probably have to consider the use of 2 or 3 different fuels to accomplish this. As well although they are not actually vehicles. Hundreds perhaps thousands of diesel operated power sources need to be replaced in remote areas. This could be accomplished with the introduction of magnetically produced electricity. the technology is already available we just have to find a source or perhaps develop one of our own.

    Keep up the great work Kristy. Your forum here is invaluable.

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    • Profile photo of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

      Dear Robert,

      Hello, warm wishes, and always a pleasure to hear from you.

      I am glad you enjoy the forum–I very much appreciate the exchange of ideas as well.

      Thank you, as always, for your input. And today, thank you particularly for sharing about Tumbler Ridge.

      Sending you good wishes,
      kirsty

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  20. Profile photo of Jean-Paul Murray Jean-Paul Murray said on

    Hi Kirsty,

    Just so you know, the following sums up what was the Liberal policy on Gatineau Park. It’s a press release issued by the Pontiac candidate during the 2008 federal election.

    Protect Gatineau Park, says Duncan McMillan

    Wakefield, September 30, 2008 – Pontiac Liberal Candidate Cindy Duncan McMillan is calling for better protection of Gatineau Park.

    “Gatineau Park is a precious piece of Canada and it must be given legislative protection to ensure future generations will be able to enjoy it and benefit from it,” today said Ms. Duncan McMillan. “The park needs clear boundaries in law, as well as a transparent land management mechanism to prevent unwanted development,” she added.

    For nearly four decades, concerned citizens and environmental groups have said Gatineau Park needs some form of legal status, as well as protection from unsuitable encroachments, developments and sell offs. Without such protection, some 1,800 acres of land have been removed from the park and many new houses have been built inside it.

    “We’re talking about the only large federal park that is not a national park, and whose boundaries can be changed without the knowledge or approval of Parliament,” said Ms. Duncan McMillan. “And, as we saw recently, a major housing project inside its boundaries confirmed that the park remains threatened by development,” she added.

    In its successive master plans, the National Capital Commission has said the park needed official status to legalize zoning, set boundaries and establish clear regulations. Despite these repeated commitments, however, no action has been taken in this regard. Moreover, Minister Lawrence Cannon has failed to come through with his promised protective legislation, and has in fact tried to derail legislation on the issue.

    “Any new legislation should protect the park’s ecological integrity, its boundaries and its territory,” said Duncan McMillan. “As well, park legislation should provide – not for expropriation – but for acquisition at fair market value whenever properties come up for sale,” she concluded.

    -30-

    Sadly, former Hull-Aylmer MP Marcel Proulx contradicted this position during the 2011 election, saying the park needed no additional protection. Tell that to members of the Occupy Gatineau Park movement.

    For too long, this issue has been considered local. It isn’t. Gatineau Park is, as French urban planner Jacques Gréber said: “The essential feature of any plan for the national capital of Canada.

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    • Profile photo of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

      Hello, thank you for expressing your concerns.

      I will share this information with my colleagues.

      If you would like to further discuss, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 613 995 4702.
      Yours very truly,
      Kirsty

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  21. Profile photo of Don Girard Don Girard said on

    Enbridge
    Yesterday I spent the whole day at meeting held in Smithers, B.C. that a committee was holding to get new evidence on the proposed pipeline that has every potential of being very destructive to the environment of our coastal region and major rivers of BC. It was aimed at input from the aboriginal community, including the Metis.

    For much of the day I was impressed with the seemingly total commitment the two aboriginal groups to the blocking of the project completely, until I overheard a conversation in the washroom between an hereditary chief who had spoken against the project totally. His comment in the washroom, of which he was not aware I was there, was now we will have to see how much money we can get. That left me with disappointment in the intergrity of the chiefs, in total, even though some spoke passionately saying money would never sway them for the project. Some obviously exercised a high degree of mendacity in their speeches. I am one for sure who could not distinguish the difference between the steadfast and the greedy.

    With the Metis, I talked with some of the leaders their and the speaker is a friend of mine and it seems they wish “to analysis the details” before making a decision on which side of the fence they stand on, but I know my friend is against the pipeline, but I do get the upper managements position is money, although they sat on the fence. I think they plan to have a free vote among all members to make the decision.

    Harpers idea that foreign money should not be used against the pipeline, but that our taxpayer money and foreign money is just fine to use for pro pipe liners is typical, that all of us who are against having our land, rivers and ocean polluted are radicals.

    From all of this, I see that it is every average taxpayer who will have to pay and suffer the cost of spills, that has to get on the band wagon against this pipe line. The talk of jobs for the NW is bogus, the big pipeline companies have their own experienced crews, and none exist in BC, especially the NW. A few labour type jobs may be created during the construction only. The terminal will have very few people needed to load the ships, only the Chinese who want the oil and in fact own some of our oil will gain, and the oil spills with cost us more then we can gain from it.
    I have fished the channels where these super tankers will travel, some say 200 of them a year, and it seems unimaginable for such large tankers to ply these straights, where strong winds and tides exist. Catastrophes are in the making here, absolutely on the ocean and with great potential on the land, although on the land it is not if an oil spill will occur, it is has bad it will be when it happens. The natural gas pipeline had been broken twice in the last decade, from landslides, and lucky is, that gas disperses quickly into the atmosphere. Heavy oil and bitumen does not.

    Much of the NW survives on fishing, commercial, aboriginal, and tourism. If these industries are destroyed much of the business in this area will fail, we will become another Newfoundland, where very few do well with oil and the rest go on welfare and poverty. It seems like the conservative think that we all can move to Alberta for jobs in the oil industry and write off our environment and our homes when there is no need.

    This does not even touch on why we want to sell dirty oil to countries who will process in the most environmentally unfriendly ways, we should sell finished product only processed in the best way possible. We also need oil in eastern Canada where jobs could be created with new refineries. And the oil we do not buy from the middle east after that, can be sold to other destinations, the net result would be the same only we would be independent, have more good jobs, and do a cleaner job of it on a timetable that works.

    The logic why we have to sell everything we have now as soon as possible eludes me completely, we do not need growth, we need good management. I think new policy should reflect this. It is impossible to find enough new workers without huge infrastructure costs, we can not even keep our old infrastructure repaired.

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  22. Profile photo of John Odenthal John Odenthal said on

    Kirsty,
    Excellent wish list. Thank you. As an economist working in the trenches of government I’m elated by your realistic approach:

    I.e.
    1)”Manage” the tarsands development, not shut it down, which is perceived as unrealistic and aggressive. Promote intention to keep tarsands in steady state, steady jobs, etc, and theres NO NEED to expand, and no additional pipeline needed. (Expansion is driven by fears in the oil industy that time is not on their side,so cash in now! That fear has been sold to Harperites.)

    2) Less newsworthy, but crucial: Keep breaking the false dichotomy between economy and environment. Ie. Expand promotion of value of green economy – the investment and jobs it brings. Yes, its tricky to quantify “green jobs”, but Liberal party can lead by commissioning and promoting studies,realistic evidence on Green jobs/ green economy. (See best study yet by Brookings Institute in Wash DC 2011. Also, Ottawa talks by Michael Porter, the Harvard guru, promoting value of green investment by Canadian industy (2010 Sustainable Prosperity events, U. of Ottawa).

    3) ….even LESS newsworthy, but really effective: your idea of Energy literacy. Crucial for long run change. Why?
    As prices rise, people are becoming “armchair” experts on energy, often with confused views.
    Liberal Party can improve this: Find mainstream non-profit partner(and donors), to distribute an accessible coursepack on energy (downloadable!) It would attract attention through focus on energy efficiency and cost savings, but also include a few truths on rising oil prices, climate science, fracking, etc. to balance the deniers progaganda.

    Promote this free, basic “course” widely to Churches, Chambers, Kiwanis, environmental, youth groups, etc. across Canada. Key is to promote greening as economic opportunity, instead of a burden.

    4) Now, the nerdiest of all… but really crucial: Liberal party Can table bill requiring Canada to regularly measure State of our “Natural Capital” alongside standard reports on Financial Capital, Fed budget, etc!
    StatsCan (ask Munir Sheikh) has done the spadework. Its not perfect,but sufficient to show mainstream the economic importance of our natural capital. Paul Martin is promoting this issue, its time has come. Get on it, Liberals!
    John Odenthal, Halifax

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    • Profile photo of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

      Dear John,
      hello and warmest wishes from Ottawa.
      Thank you so very much for your thoughtful email.
      I very much appreciate the ideas you have brought forward, and would welcome a phone call should you be interested. My office number is 613 995 4702. With sincere appreciation,
      Yours very truly,
      Kirsty

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