Friday, September 29, 2006

Green Party Enviro Platform

This week, Elizabeth May and the Federal Green Party announced their environmental platform. Titled GP2 (read GP squared) the plan provides sharp focus and action items on climate, air and water quality, reductions in toxic chemicals, bolstering our national parks and boosting Ottawa's scientific capacity.

A major focus of the platform is their climate change plan. Echoing Al Gore's proposal in his NYU speech last week, the Green's propose a tax shifting program that would see personal income taxes drop while taxes on carbon producing industries and activities are ramped up. The resulting tax burden would be neutral. The result is a progressive platform that avoids the socialist trappings that the NDP remains embroiled in.

The plan also addresses one of my lingering doubts about Ms. May's leadership, namely, her ties to Brain Mulroney. In addition to her past political dealing with Mulroney, May Prior to becoming leader of the Greens Elizabeth May played a significant role in the Corporate Knights campaign that recognized Brian Mulroney as Canada's "greenest prime minister" - a farcical public relations pl0y which heaped scarcely earned praise on the former PM, but for those in the know only succeeded in demonstrating what a poor enviro lot our PMs have been. The Green platform correctly addresses this:

the Mulroney Green Plan looks good in retrospect only because of the poor performance governments since. The reality is that the first Green Plan was more a fund than a plan.

Enough said. Here is the complete summary of the Green environmental platform. See their website for the complete document:

1) Kyoto Protocol: Implement tax-shifting (ecological fiscal reform), while regulating to improve vehicle fuel economy, improve energy productivity in large appliances, expand programmes for renewable energy, remove perverse energy subsidies and, in cooperation with provinces and territories, improve energy efficiency of residential and commercial buildings.

2) Adaptation to Climate Change: Develop pro-active adaptation strategies for vulnerable residential areas (floodplains, settlements on perma-frost, etc), and for economic sectors particularly dependent on stable climatic conditions: tourism, agriculture, forestry and fishing.
3) Air Quality: Establish regulations to reduce exposure to toxic contaminants. No need for new legislation. Use The Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

4) Toxic Chemicals: Regulate within the Canadian Environmental Protection Act

5) Water Quality and Quantity: Implement the 1987 Federal Water Policy. Pass
legislation at the federal level to prohibit bulk water exports.

6) National Parks: Re-commit to the completion of the National Parks system,including its Marine Parks.

7) Science: Reverse the “brain drain” in federal scientific capacity.

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