Photo: BC needs active citizens to keep speaking out for the environment

British Columbians have shown they have power to demand a better environmental future. B.C.'s climate action law was enacted because British Columbians demanded it.

By Ian Bruce, Science and Policy Manager

B.C. has elected a new government and, with it, hopes for economic growth and opportunities. But we've also heard loudly during the election campaign that British Columbians don't want that growth to come at the expense of the environment.

We've heard that environmental leadership and action on climate change are important to British Columbians. These issues were a decisive factor in the 2009 B.C. election and remained important influencers this election as well. During the next four years, we look forward to engaging discussions on how we can uphold B.C.'s law and targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. British Columbians want to be part of the discussion on how we proceed with liquefied natural gas development. And they remain concerned about the impacts of pipeline expansions and potential tanker traffic increases.

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At the Foundation, our priorities support sound environmental solutions that improve the quality of life in communities including:

  • Protecting B.C's coastal waters through participating in the marine planning process led by the provincial government and First Nations.
  • Improving the effectiveness of B.C.'s carbon tax by closing the loophole that gave a free pass on emissions from natural and shale gas extraction (this will provide an incentive for industry to use cleaner technologies during natural gas production) and investing revenues into solutions like transit and renewable energy.
  • Restoring B.C.'s rich wildlife and species at risk and taking responsibility to rebuild wild salmon.
  • Working in partnership with the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment to ban cancer causing chemical pesticides used on lawns and gardens.
  • Strengthening BC's environmental assessment process.
  • Prioritizing renewable energy.

The challenges remain. B.C.'s new government will have to balance the hidden deficit — the province's environmental and green infrastructure deficit: our communities are in dire need of funding to build public transportation and energy efficient infrastructure, species at risk need protecting, and climate action targets must be met. It's a moral imperative that B.C. doesn't pass this environmental debt on to our children.

While we've heard much about the potential economic windfall of liquefied natural gas development for the province, we haven't yet had a conversation on the potential environmental costs. The proposed developments put the province in danger of missing our climate targets by creating emissions that are even higher than those from Alberta's oilsands. As B.C.'s new government negotiates with industry on these developments, we're asking that they remain firm in supporting our province's commitments to climate leadership.

British Columbians have shown they have power to demand a better environmental future. B.C.'s climate action law was enacted because British Columbians demanded it. That's why I'm hopeful the new government can show climate leadership and encourage industry to drive environmental innovation. Otherwise, B.C. risks moving from climate leader to climate laggard and I don't believe British Columbians want that.

One message this election was clear: British Columbians want a strong sustainable economy and good jobs that don't come at the expense of the environment. Joining the conversation on how we get there will be key to addressing our environmental challenges.

May 16, 2013

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May 28, 2013
7:21 AM

i love your work

May 18, 2013
12:37 PM

I would just like to say I wish there was more that i could personally. I love the vision of this foundation and i support it more than anything. The people of our global community need to see the light and realize that we are destroying our ecology. The basic fundamentals for life are provided naturally by nature, not artificially by the social systems set up by the government.

A question that has been pondering my mind for the longest time is what is it going to take for people to wake up and realize that the world we Shepard as a dominate race is falling apart right in front of our eyes. I am embarrassed to have a government that is using the environment as a tool to move up a peg in the global economy. It will be sad to see when the time comes when the world is in turmoil, none of the people who ignorantly ignored the cries of the environmentalists and the people of this nation and others will be held accountable or guilty.

It is apparent that we live in a unfair society. It is also apparent that the future looks dim for man kind. But I believe with the power of informing people of the simple ecological changes in our everyday lives, we can not only slow the process of destruction, but even possibly change the masses ways of thinking.

None of what I am saying is new to most people who will read this comment. I really appreciate Dr. Suzuki and his members of his foundation for connecting and educating people about what really matters. I hope your program succeeds to the fullest and it is a example to live by one day.

If anyone from Alberta reads this I would like to set up a program that runs off the message portrayed in the Suzuki Foundation. It is of utmost importance for not only B.C, but all of Canada and the world to realize that the economy will soon be the death of this planet. And without the efforts to reduce the carbon footprint and finding alternative resources that can be renewed.

I hope there are people that are as determined as me in Alberta that are willing to stand up against the big oil lobbyist and they re political puppets and deliver the simple message to the public. We're running out of time and we need to change the mass way of thinking. There should be not cost to save the environment, because ultimately we screwed with the natural order of this world.

It's astounding to see the efforts from elites to separate the human race from all other ecosystems. It has shown time and time again, mother nature will take care of business and clean the world of this filth. We need to go back to basics and realize that we are just another mammal with an abnormal brain with no purpose on this planet other than to LIVE.

"We are in the 59th minute." Dr. David Suzuki

Its time to wake up

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