Off to the races…let’s all join in!

So we are off to the races, another election in Canada.

I do not know why, but I love a good election.  Call me a political geek.

But I also find them terribly disappointing.

Usually this is because the party (or more often then not, “the people”) I want to win rarely do, though I have to admit there has been change afoot here so maybe it’ll again be on the up with this election? It’s also because the issues that I care about never seem to get much attention.

So what will this election mean for environmental policy in Canada?

The pessimistic side of my brain suggests that nothing will change no matter what the result of the election.

The optimistic side, however, reminds me that elections are about opportunities to shape a political agenda.  We NEED our governments to take a stand on matters related to environmental health and safety. An election, in my opinion, is a time when we can all make our opinions as clear as we are able.

So, I ask myself, what are the TOP things that I want a new Canadian government to do?  I don’t care what party is elected (well, ok I do but I have to leave something to talk about in future posts); what I care about is that the policies and actions that I want to see happen are acted upon, and with no further delays.

In the NEXT Canadian Government (whether it be blue, red, orange or green) I expect:

  1. That the issues around the Tar Sands and Water Quality will be immediately addressed.  The solution can NOT be further studying and assessment.  Yes the water monitoring needs to change and be brought into the standards warranted by the intensity of the developments in North Eastern Alberta.  The concerns over contamination and human health need to be mitigated immediately and if that means agreeing that we need a time out or halt to developments then so be it.  The people’s lives being affected in the region deserve the rest of the country to support their repeated requests for government action.
  2. There needs to be a legislated and consistent standard for drinking water across the country.  In Canada, it is unacceptable that communities don’t have access to safe drinking water.
  3. I know it doesn’t sound sexy but we need to make it so – we need a national strategy for water protection.  This, to me, means ensuring that we have national consistency and cooperation in ensuring that priority uses of water are protected no matter where you go in the country and recognizing that most of our river systems cross political borders of some kind (and many of them internationally which requires the roll of the Federal Government).
  4. Our building code standards need to be updated to require developers to meet accepted environmental objectives (LEED certifications levels, for example).
  5. I also expect that our government will STOP dily dallying around climate policy and actually move to an action plan that is actually implemented.  I also would expect that this plan would take us closer to achieving the baselines commonly agreed upon by scientists around the world.

Ok…I know there is so much more than that…as there’s healthcare, education, finances that I have opinions on too.

What do you think?  I invite all of us to actually engage in this election and share with our friends and neighbours what we want to see in our next government. Let’s make politics social again.  Maybe then we’ll see turnouts start increasing?  And maybe, just maybe, we’ll get a government that will actually listen and take action!

So, I ask you, what are the TOP things that you want a new Canadian government to do?

One Response to “Off to the races…let’s all join in!”

  1. Christina March 29, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

    Love the post!

    You get the 2-income, middle-class, working couple/family (the most desired target audience for most campaigns) to become more engaged in an issue like water conservation or protection when you target what they’re killing themselves working for – their kids. As a parent, I’m suddenly buying organic, shopping locally, having Meatless Monday, visiting local farms and teaching my kids about recycling and the value of protecting mother nature. I need to picture my toddler wading around in one of Ontario’s beautiful lakes or the boys wanting to eat the fish they catch in the summer, to have my attention captured for the message.

    I’d be interested in any political campaign that can paint a picture of how one of these parties platforms will affect my children, and as a hefty taxpayer, my bottom line. Instead all I see are a bunch of angry looking middle aged men yelling at Parliament (sorry Elizabeth May!) This election will become interesting to me when politicians can make things happen for the environment, education, childcare and easing the tax burden off people like me.

    great blog!

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