Are you over 18 and trying to figure out who you’re supposed to be voting for? Your teachers, parents, and friends are constant reminders to “vote, vote, vote,” but politics; who can really follow? Well, this article is aimed at informing you on one of the many important things to consider when voting in this Federal Election; a sustainable development. A sustainable development, according to the Brundtland Report “[…] is the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This is important because as of right now, the world holds a population of over seven billion, and is expected to reach somewhere between nine and 10 billion by 2050. Recent studies claim that when the world reaches 10 billion people, there will not be sufficient enough food to provide for everyone, i.e. 25 years left, which means, theoretically, most 18 year olds won’t reach their 50’s.
The Green Party and their leader Elizabeth May have many plans for creating a sustainable society if elected, although the polls suggest a slim chance of that actually happening. May and her team believe that to ever be able to reach sustainable development, with a continual growth in population, global consumption, and materialistic injustice, society as a whole needs to stop as is and reverse completely. Their platform includes six main parts; The Green Economy which explores green economic principles; the Climate Crisis, where they aim to reduce Green House Gas emissions; the preservation and restoring of the environment; the People, claiming that the most important resource of a country is its people, so for the best results the people need to take part and initiate change; the justification of the planet depending on Canada; and finally, Good Government. Presumably, it will be a huge adjustment to the current ways of living. They are suggesting that to reach this everyone must begin developing an economy that satisfies the needs of all, instead of the gluttony of the rich. That means the rich must limit their spending to a necessity basis, providing a fair share of the earth’s resources and wealth. The roles and obligations of businesses internationally will alter in order to support the principles of sustainable development, as well as raising taxes to support the poor of the country. They also plan to adapt the resource and energy efficiency with the use of sustainable technologies, and redefine the way people see wealth. They aim to focus on things like quality of life than over-consumption, as well as getting rid of the leading causes of population growth, ergo providing economic security and access to basic education and health; i.e. giving man and woman greater control over their bodies.
The Liberal Party of Canada plans for Canada to regain its reputation as a competitive country. The idea is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by developing a cohesive federal, provincial, and territorial plan that looks into partnership, federal funding, protection, and flexibility. They recognise that we need to prevent an increase in average global temperatures from exceeding anything greater than two degrees. In order to do that, they promise to work with provinces and territories to create a Low Carbon Economy Trust Fund, dedicated to supporting projects of which greatly reduce carbon emissions, and will start off the fund with $2 billion. The Liberals plan on investing millions into the use of clean technology producers, and many more millions into the use of said technology, in the hopes of presenting numerous benefits to the country both economically and environmentally. An example of such green technology revolves around an eco-friendlier public transportation system by expanding the number of electric vehicles, and installing a vast number of charging stations for said vehicles. By enhancing our current tax measures, the Liberal Party plans on using said enhancements to support the investments mentioned above as well as to make Canada more competitive overall in terms of our commitment to a green country. The Liberals also plan on taking into consideration the effects on the indigenous communities as a result of our environmental mistakes, and dedicate themselves to making decisions based on facts and science, and that serve the interest of the public.
The Conservative Party of Canada support Stephen Harper’s ideas for a country dedicated to supporting clean and local energy usage. They are in favor of various pipeline projects such as the plans proposed by the TransCanada Energy East project, which is a west to east oil pipeline coming from Alberta and going to New Brunswick, as well the TransCanada Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, coming from Alberta and going to the U.S Gulf Coast. The Conservative Party of Canada will continue supporting clean energy projects, and has a plan in store for the country in the form of establishing a low-carbon emitting economy by 2050, as well as to reduce our emissions by 30 percent by the time we reach 2030. This reduction targeted towards our 2005 levels and the Conservatives are putting their faith within the provinces and territories in order to reach that goal. They also want to dedicate an annual $5 million in support of various programs and initiatives towards bird, moose, and turkey populations, and will establish permits allowing the use of crossbows for hunting.
The Bloc Quebecois seem keen on combatting climate change with a strong territorial approach. One of their plans is to ensure that tax incentives are provided to those living with home heating systems powered by oil, in order to convert said system into electric-powered, of which can be produced from renewable energy. The Bloc also represents the philosophy of environmentalism, a movement dedicated to environmental protection, as well as the application of the Kyoto Protocol, and are dedicated to establishing plans for improvement both economically and environmentally with their favor of developing strong support plans for both the forest and manufacturing industries. The Bloc also wants to re-establish the Auto Rebate Program, a program in support of fuel-efficient vehicles, and improve upon its ideas in order to ensure cleaner and more environmentally friendly methods of transportation.
The NDP (New Democratic Party) are very clear in that they want to reverse the “damage” done by Harper, although they are not clear on how specifically they will do that. The NDP has three key principles for the future: one, sustainability; they want the people that do the damage to pay the price for their actions so that the generations to follow don’t have to. Two, the promise of partnership between all communities, provinces, and First Nations in hopes of providing more jobs for the middle-class in Canada. Third, giving more worth to our natural wealth and resources, investing into modern and clean energy. Tom Mulcair, leader of the NDP party wants to ensure his teams and the population that although people once said “economic growth sacrifices social and environmental security”, it is false. He believes that an economy can grow alongside a sustainable environment. By creating a cap-and-trade, they will meet the international climate change obligations, and create a system that puts a market price on carbon. Mulcair is pro-pipeline, but believes there are ways to have the pipelines that does not need to come at the expense of the environment or creating sustainable development, and in that encourages the West-East pipeline.
If you would like more information, you can visit the parties’ pages, which you can find by typing in the party’s title.
Written By: Anna Yates-Potier & Roy Boughanem
Originally Published: October 2015