Two benchmarks of a sustainable future for our grandchildren are careful management of Canada's natural environment and its resources, and promotion of a low-carbon economy.
Let's use the forthcoming federal election campaign to engage our candidates in meaningful discussion about the environment. Our grandchildren can't elect their future, but we elders can.
Question to the candidates: "Please describe how you and your party's policies will promote a sustainable future for my grandchildren. For example, what are your specific commitments to the following important issues?
- A sustainable low-carbon economy that includes a national clean energy plan, financial support for renewable energy production and energy use efficiency, implementation of a revenue-neutral federal carbon tax, removal of all subsidies to coal, oil, gas and coal-bed methane industries, and support for rapid transit and new public transportation systems.
- Sustained national action on climate change, including international agreements on technology transfer, financing and co-operation on emissions reductions and adaptation in developing countries in exchange for their agreement to limit emissions.
- Ensuring Canada's future as a food production and exporting country by establishing a national food and farmlands policy, restructuring of our agricultural markets to sustain farming, encouragement of family farms and ensuring that farm families receive a fair share of consumer income, and support for organic agriculture instead of subsidizing costly agro-chemicals and genetically modified crops.
- Protection of our irreplaceable marine fish habitats by placing a permanent legislated moratorium on oil and gas exploration and development in ecologically sensitive areas such as the west coast of British Columbia and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and by eliminating open-ocean net-pen aquaculture practices.
Please share these questions widely.