What Happened to the Environment?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Okay, I might be jumping the gun (ahead of the French debate) but what happened to the environment. It wasn't even brought up once in the Leader's Debate yesterday. Come on!

Last time the debates happened the environment was one of the biggest issues, if not the biggest. Almost every economic stimulus package from other countries around the world included a significant investment in green technology and resource efficiency. Not in Canada.

I was really hoping that there would be a lively debate about the environment, hell I would even settled for a passing comment about a platform promise... but nothing? Okay, in all fairness, there was mention about Bill C-30 and how quickly it was killed. But is that it? What about the fisheries, what about the oil sands, what about our food security, what about our climate change obligations?

I am crossing my fingers in the hopes that they will pick up this question tonight in the French debate. I am not the type of person that likes to choose sides or tell people what to do. I believe that there are many options available. But I am afraid that if Canada doesn't do something we will be left behind as the rest of the world moves forward.

Here at the University of Ottawa, we have made environmental sustainability an important issue for the foreseeable future. The Vision 2020 Strategic Plan for the university identifies sustainability as one of our core pillars (check out the preliminary report and send in your comments). Rather than pitting the economy against the environment, we have taken the stance that the two can mutually re-enforce one another.

Anyways, I won't try to bog you down with details or bore you with rhetoric; the only thing I will say is make sure that your candidates are talking about the environment this election. Hold them to account and let them know that the environment hasn't let our minds.


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