Do what I say, not what I do

It turns out that Canada’s “New” government is following its Liberal predecessors’ failures on the environment file in yet another way. The Toronto Star reports today:

The federal environment commissioner says Ottawa has been promising since 1992 to put in place a sustainable development strategy to clean up the actions of its departments but has little to show for it 15 years later.

“It’s one of the many tools that the government introduced … to manage environmental sustainable development well,” commissioner Ron Thompson said.

“It’s a matter of great concern to us that that tool simply is not working.”

Auditor-General Sheila Fraser added that the government’s continued neglect of this plan to factor the environment into departments’ decision-making process is a “major disappointment.”

The goals that have been laid out by the government provide little in the way of expectations for departments to help clean up the air and water, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and make more intelligent use of natural resources.

For the record, that’s a failure to act that extends through 1 Progressive Conservative majority, 3 Liberal majority, 1 Liberal minority and 1 Conservative minority governments. In total 9 Environment Ministers have failed to make a sustainable development strategy work.

The article goes on to say:

Government departments have been producing sustainable development strategies every three years since 1997 and the environment commissioner has written 10 reports so far on the substandard progress that has been made.

But despite consistent promises to take “appropriate action,” little improvement has occurred.

And what is Environment Canada’s response to the report? They promise to “improve the government’s approach” by October 2008. Or, put another way, they promise to do… nothing.

Clearly nothing will change for the better with PMSH and John Baird at the helm, and by October 2008 one of 3 things will have happened.

  1. A new minority Conservative government will be in power. Status Quo, no change.
  2. A new minority Liberal government will be in power. With M. Dion as PM the Environment should be more of a priority, but he is one of the past Environment Ministers who has already done nothing, no change.
  3. Canadians loose all sensibility and elect a majority Conservative Government. Environment Canada is all but eliminated as it is folded into the portfolio of the Ministry of Energy, the Environment Commissioner’s office is disbanded and the sustainable development strategy is abandoned as another “bad Liberal idea” (forgetting, of course that it was PC Jean Charest who instituted the policy in the first place.)

We have got to make a serious change in the House of Commons soon if there is any hope for the environment. Let’s hope that M. Dion will finally allow his party to vote in the House again so that we can begin the process.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 31st, 2007 at 3:32 pm and is filed under Environment, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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