Canada — a powerful word that until recently brought with it images of world-class wilderness, functioning ecosystems, serious concern for climate change and a belief in a healthy economy AND a healthy environment. Where are we today?
Here are just a few headlines from the last three years under Prime Minister Harper that should be ringing major alarm bells: “Budget Cuts Imperil Canada’s National Parks” (Globe and Mail), “When Science Goes Silent” (Macleans Magazine), “The Harper Government’s War on Science” (CCPA), “Muzzling of Scientists Widespread” (CBC News), “PM Harper Pits Economy Against the Environment” (CTV News).
And what about the headlines that are appearing around the world? The New York Times proclaims “Canada Silencing Scientists.” Climate Change Performance Index 2015 — the annual publication by Germanwatch and Climate Action Network Europe — ranks Canada as 58th out of 61 countries!
Having lived in the Kootenays for 25 years, serving as a senior provincial government manager with BC Parks (Fish, Wildlife and Ecosystems Branch) and working in private land conservation, I know that we can have both a healthy economy and a healthy environment if we care enough to make both of them priorities.
Paying it forward is a great and growing concept. You do a good deed today that benefits an individual tomorrow who you don’t necessarily even know, and they in turn do a good deed for another person, and so on.
Based on what we’ve seen in the last three years, if we care about world-class wilderness, functioning ecosystems, climate change, and economic development supported by science and knowledge, the best way to pay forward a healthy environment for our children and grandchildren is to ensure that the Conservative party does not continue to govern Canada.