For the next month, we'll see plenty of evidence that the handshake is alive and well, our playoff hockey games will be diced with political attack ads, and some family dinners will get a lot livelier. It's election time and politicians have hit the campaign trail (some are even trying to reduce their carbon footprint along the way). Not only is this an opportunity to observe some stellar TrashTweeting (at least by politicians' standards), it's also an important opportunity for Canadians to shape the direction our country is headed on environmental and other important issues by doing one, simple thing. Voting.
There are a lot of things we can do in our daily lives to help protect our planet. But we can't do it alone. We need to elect leaders that take environmental issues seriously and address them in their platforms. Canada's environment is more than just an idyllic backdrop we see in beer commercials. It provides essential services that sustain us (food, water, clean air) and creates jobs in a number of sectors. We have a lot to be proud of and a responsibility to ensure we pass on a healthy world to future generations. By voting for candidates who have made a commitment to protect the environment, we encourage our leaders to deliver the short-term action and long-term vision that will benefit us all.
Canada's road to environmental sustainability is full of challenges. Our country does not have an adequate plan for reducing its carbon emissions, our oceans remain in peril, and toxic chemicals are found in everything from food to fragrances. It is the leaders who address these challenges and deliver on their promises that will allow Canada to reclaim its place as an international leader on the environment.
Check out this new tool from the CBC to learn where each of the parties stand on the issues that matter to you — including the environment. Five weeks is going to go by fast. Who will you vote for when election day comes?