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.