The Harper government has announced a series of pro environment initiatives over the past number of days. Some are worth credit, and some are worth a closer look.
First, credit where credit is due. BC protected areas got a good shot in the arm with $30 million for the Great Bear Rainforest and $2 million for Stanley Park. Granted, the money for the rainforest comes a year after the agreement was reached, and offering funding for Stanley Park is a political no-brainer, but both announcements are good ones and represent real progress for the areas affected.
The Conservative's climate change initiatives are a quite a different story though. Harper's crew has been busy opening up the purse strings, offering $230 million to clean energy technology, $300 million for wind and renewable energy, and funding for a toned down version of the Liberals Energuide program. Unfortunately, this spending doesn't amount to any real progress and only serves to restore Liberal programs that the Tories have spent the last year criticizing.
To date, the net impact of Harpers green approach has been a one year delay in implementing what was already on the books.
Fortunately, there is better and more important news buried within these announcements. With public demand for action on global warming soaring and an election somewhere on the horizon, politicians (even the climate change skeptics) are being forced to compete for the environmental vote.
As with any competitive market, the winners will be the consumers - both the people casting their vote, and the environment as a whole.