Here is Canada’s Green Party’s manifesto in October 2015. Excerpts are on our own.
p.9-10: The Green Economy
… A smart economy is one that is resilient. A smart economy is diversified, less vulnerable to global shifts. A smart economy enriches localized value chains, producing more goods and employing more Canadians. According to numerous studies, notably Michael E. Porter’s work at Harvard Business School, the more ambitious environmental standards and regulations are adopted, the more competitive and productive is your economy. …
… Unfortunately, employed Canadians are also among the most overworked citizens in the industrialized world. A report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) states that the richest 10% of Canadians are the only ones not working longer hours. The report concludes that, despite being better educated and working harder, Canadian families are now “running faster just to stay put and the bottom half is actually falling behind.” …
p.13: 1.3 Reporting the well-being of the nation more accurately
By some accounts, the Canadian economy is performing quite well. But national prosperity is more than just the exchange of dollars. The gross domestic product (GDP) – our national bottom line – is a measure of money changing hands without regard to whether we are reducing social inequalities, advancing sustainability, or safeguarding our natural capital of primary resources such as wild fish populations, natural forests, and fertile soils. Oil spills and clean-up costs actually increase local GDP, as Kinder-Morgan’s submission to the National Energy Board boasted in an ill-conceived appeal to silver linings in the event of disaster. Most economists agree that GDP is a poor measure of economic well-being or quality of life, yet our government continues to use it as the basis for its most important taxation and policy decisions.
The Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) is a new and innovative accounting method that embraces a more systematic and comprehensive definition of well-being. Literacy, health and fitness, housework, family time, public infrastructure, cultural institutions, community volunteerism, water and air quality, forests, farmland, wetlands, and employment are all measured by the GPI. Other countries, led by France following a ground-breaking study by Nobel award winners in economics Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen, are working to broaden measurements of prosperity beyond the GDP. Canada needs to catch up.
p.15: 1.4 Fair taxes – fiscal reform
… However, the evidence is now in. Corporations have not used the extra cash to create jobs. They have not re-invested it in the Canadian economy. In the words of Mark Carney, former Governor of the Bank of Canada, the money that would have gone to pay for critical infrastructure, veterans’ benefits, and environmental research is “dead money.” It has not created jobs. It is sloshing around in the bank accounts of Canada’s biggest corporations. It is an astonishing $629 billion – 35% of Canada’s GDP. …
p.23-25: 1.12 Railways – re-establishing the national dream
Canada’s national rail systems are in decline. We are the only country in the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) with no national transportation strategy. While Europeans have highly efficient inter-modal connectivity, with high speed rail linking downtown cores to airports, with bicycle lanes allowing people to move around cities safely, efficiently and pollution-free, with streetcars in the downtowns and even rural areas serviced by bus and rail, Canadian communities are increasingly stranded. Except for Vancouver, which has a downtown to airport rapid transit line built for the 2010 Olympics, and Toronto with a system currently under construction, nothing links our downtowns to airports other than a stretch of gridlocked traffic. Even along the Windsor-Quebec corridor, passenger rail is increasingly infrequent and outmoded. In much of Canada, rail routes that once moved thousands of people are abandoned. Edmonton to Calgary, Saskatoon to Regina, Halifax to Sydney have all been axed, despite their profitability. Even the tracks for freight between Truro and Cape Breton are being abandoned, and with them any hope of re-establishing passenger rail service.
Sir John A. Macdonald understood that to be a nation, to have a sense of shared identity and common purpose, Canada needed effective east-west links in communications, in energy delivery, and in transportation.
To renew this ‘national dream’ today requires a complete overhaul of our rail system for both passenger and freight. It will mean wherever possible shifting cargo containers off highways and onto freight trains, driving the development of freight distribution nodes (off-loading containers onto local trucks) along new ‘green corridors’. It will require a comprehensive plan for Alberta’s bitumen to increasingly process it in Alberta and stop over-burdening our rail system with rail cars loaded with bitumen for export.
The rail system changes will, over time, move to separate lines for passenger trains, particularly in well populated corridors. At the moment, freight owns the tracks and controls the traffic signals.
Passengers are at the mercy of freight. New high-speed commuter trains will almost halve the travel time between Toronto and Ottawa and Toronto and Montreal to about two and a half hours. With downtown-to-downtown service, the train will be faster than the plane, when security and other airport delays are factored in. Reducing air travel will reduce greenhouse gases and remove the needto expand airports or build new ones, including the Pickering airport near Toronto. Better rail service will take cars off the roads between major cities, reducing air pollution, congestion, and loss of life in traffic accidents. An improved rail system will make Canada more economically competitive and provide thousands of new jobs.
Green Party MPs will re-establish Canada’s National Dream and:
• Re-invest in our national rail systems, building more train cars in Canada, increasing train speeds and phasing in high speed rail where feasible, and creating green transportation and energy infrastructure corridors in key regions;
• Give VIA Rail a statute-based mandate, modeled on the U.S.-laws that govern Amtrak;
• Improve rail infrastructure and intermodal connections, increasing joint federal-municipal light rail investments, as well as improving VIA Rail service nationwide;
• Work with railway companies to improve rail infrastructure and to restore VIA rail service to all major regional cities;
• Create a national clean freight initiative, using both regulation and financial incentives to improve fleet efficiency and safety;
• Bring forward regulations for Positive Train Control systems for passenger and freight, ensuring safer transport;
• Support the trucking industry, reducing pollution through add-on generators to avoid the need to idle to maintain air conditioning and refrigeration, while ensuring the right fit of trucking in a more efficient, rail-based intermodal system.
p.25: 1.13 Green urban transportation
Urban sprawl means commuters crawl. More roads don’t solve the problem; they make it worse. Gridlock means more air pollution and more GHG emissions. A transition to efficient light rail transit and coordinated buses will take cars off our roads, breaking the cycle of an increasing number of cars on increasingly-crowded roads to make our cities more livable.
We must build our way out of the problem of clogged roads and smog-choked cities, not by building more roads and bridges and more distant suburbs, but by building ‘smart growth’ infrastructure. Excellent public transit and efficient housing in high-density nodes along existing transit corridors will make cities more livable and people-friendly. The federal government must take the lead in funding the ‘greening’ of Canada’s cities. (see Section 1.14 Infrastructure and Communities for more on federal-municipal relations.)
Green Party MPs will:
• Increase federal funding for pedestrian, cycle, and car-sharing infrastructure in towns and cities;
• Increase existing funding to stimulate a massive re-investment in public transportation infrastructure in all Canadian towns and cities to make it convenient, safe, comfortable, and affordable; …
p.26-27: 1.14 Infrastructure and communities
At Confederation, Canada was a predominantly rural country where fewer than one in ten people lived in cities. Our constitution set up a taxation system that greatly favoured the federal and provincial governments over municipal governments. The municipal order of government is not even mentioned in our Constitution, yet today eight in ten Canadians live in urban areas. …
Urban Canadians need their garbage collected, good transit services, safe roads, and dependable water supplies. They also want new investment in green urban infrastructure including recycling, mass transit, energy efficiency upgrades to buildings, water conservation, and community amenities like parks, sports fields, and arts, culture and community centres. Underlying this is an urgent need to replace aging sewer systems, roadways, and water pipes.
All of these are municipal responsibilities, but Canadian municipalities simply don’t have enough money to do it all. According to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, 50% of Canadian tax revenue is spent on federal programs, 42% goes to the provinces and only 8% goes to municipal governments. Canada’s biggest fiscal imbalance is the imbalance between municipal governments and everyone else.
As Jane Jacobs pointed out in Dark Age Ahead, taxes are collected disproportionately at the wrong level. Most Canadians’ experience their government at the level where it collects their recycling, runs their buses, and provides their water. …
Green Party MPs will:
• Increase the Gas Tax Transfer to municipalities to five cents/litre to be used in funding the above sustainable transportation initiatives such as public transit, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, and rural roads;
• Recognize that access to high-speed internet connections is now a critical aspect of infrastructure and work to expand access to address the ‘digital divide’;
• Make employer-provided transit passes tax-free by exempting them from taxable benefit status, thereby encouraging workers and businesses to use public transport, and make employee parking a taxable benefit;
• Change tax policy to create a new pool of long-term municipal infrastructure funding by allowing municipalities to issue new Municipal Registered Retirement Savings Plans Bonds which can be held in RRSPs and self-directed RRSPs;
• Fund ‘Green Cities’ initiatives, ensuring (through contractual agreements) that the funding is not used in ways that encourage urban sprawl, but instead to reduce sprawl and GHG emissions, conserve electricity and water, increase densification, expand convenient, safe, reliable and affordable public transit, and build cycling and walking paths.
p.30-32: 1.15 Agriculture and food
… Green Party MPs will develop a National Agricultural and Food Policy which will:
• Improve food safety and boosts nutritional health by:
o Amending the Canadian Food Inspection Agency mandate to remove any obligation to promote Canadian agri-business, ensuring the focus is on food safety and food safety only, with enhanced resources for inspection and monitoring;
o Eliminating conflict of interest by removing food and agri-business representatives from federal food policy advisory bodies;
o Acting to label sodium, sugar, and trans fats on food products;
o Regulating the amount of trans fats in our food supply;
o Removing tax deductibility from junk food advertising aimed at children;
o Placing a manufacturer’s levy on sugary drinks, earmarking the revenue to fund healthy living initiatives;
o Ensuring the quality and wholesomeness of food by strengthening the monitoring of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, growth hormones, non-therapeutic antibiotics, and insecticides in food production, processing and storage, with the goal of an orderly reduction in detectable residues of these substances until they reach undetectable limits;
o Establishing federally funded, community-guided school lunch programs across Canada to ensure that our children have daily access to healthy local food and can learn about sustainable food production and healthy eating;
o Strengthening Plant Protection and Health of Animals Programs with measures to ensure the integrity of farm food products;
o Improving and strengthening the Canadian Organic Standard;
o Providing transitional assistance for those switching to certified organic farming practices;
o Ensuring that no animal by-products are used in ruminant animal feed;
o Strengthening testing for BSE by implementing 100% testing (testing of every slaughtered animal) as soon as the process of detecting BSE in blood samples is perfected.
(Note: please refer to Health promotion in section 4.7 for greater detail on health promotion aspects of some measures listed here.)
• Provide food security by:
o Moving towards regional food self-sufficiency across Canada, as we begin the shift to organic agriculture as the dominant model of production;
o Supporting the ‘200 kilometre diet’ and locally grown food through expansion of farmers’ markets and local culinary tourism activities;
o Promoting rooftop gardens, cultivation of green urban space for agriculture, food production in cities and suburbs, and community gardens;
o Protecting the right of farmers to save their own seed;
o Promoting heritage seed banks and seed exchange programs.
• Reduce corporate control of the food supply by:
o Reforming agriculture regulations to challenge corporate concentration;
o Ensuring that farm support payments are farm-based (not production-based) to encourage more farms and more farmers;
o Encouraging organic farming methods to improve farm profitability and sustainability.
• Support local food markets by:
o Enabling local areas without industrial-scale agriculture to develop area-specific food safety regulations meeting national standards without placing undue financial burdens on local farmers and food processors;
o Assisting in re-establishing the architecture of local food production in canneries, slaughterhouses, and other value-added food processing;
o Encouraging and supporting the consumption of locally-grown food by promoting adequate shelf space in grocery chains for products from local farms and local food processors.
• Improve agricultural research by:
o Ensuring that new plant cultivars and animal breeds remain in the public domain;
o Shifting government-supported research away from biotechnology and energy-intensive farming and towards organic food production;
o Increasing publicly-funded research into organic farming techniques;
o Establishing new policies for private research efforts to ensure that they are in the best interests of family farmers and consumers;
o Preventing the patenting of life forms;
o Ensuring that developers of genetically engineered crops are liable for any damage those crops cause.
• Ensure fair trade by:
o Prioritizing fair trade in agricultural exports and imports;
o Ensuring that supply management systems provide stable domestic markets, provide viable farm income and permit unregulated production by smaller and family farms that sell to local market;
o Reviewing the impacts of abolishing the Canadian Wheat Board and considering re-establishing it to ensure the fair trading of high quality Canadian grains;
o Eliminating the dumping of food into the economies of developing countries.
• Stop the loss of agricultural land to development by:
o Calling for negotiated agreements with the provinces to secure the preservation of the prime agricultural land in Canada;
o Reinstating the Canada Land Inventory program with adequate funding to update and keep current a comprehensive record of land capability and land use as a vital ongoing aid to local planning;
o Providing sufficient fiscal incentives to other levels of government, including municipalities, to preserve farmlands under their jurisdictions.
• Support environmental stewardship by:
o Protecting and improving the quality of water in our streams, lakes, and aquifers;
o Restoring the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Board and its conservation measures;
o Working with provinces to ensure that all livestock waste is recycled safely and contamination by agricultural run-off is avoided;
o Introducing cost-shared programs to help farmers protect wildlife habitat areas and marginal lands, maintain water quality in streams, lakes and aquifers, and retain and improve soil quality;
o Creating a national Environmental Farm Plan Program to provide new funding sources for implementation at the farm level.
• Assist farmers in climate change adaptation by:
o Encouraging farming methods that increase carbon sequestration and decrease water requirements;
o Establishing GHG emission targets for all components of the agri-food system, and collaborating with industry to meet targets;
o Restructuring Canada’s Business Risk Management Programs to help farmers cope with climate risk, especially in disaster assistance. …
p.35-36: 1.17 Fisheries
… Green Party MPs will work to:
• Sign and ratify the global treaty to ban bottom-trawling;
• Repeal changes to the federal Fisheries Act found in spring 2012’s omnibus budget bill C-38.
• Strengthen the Fisheries Act to:
1. Require evaluation of threats to fish stocks and include provisions to protect fish stocks and the marine environment;
2. Make protection of critical stocks and habitat mandatory;
3. Require that the management and conservation of wild fisheries take precedence over aquaculture, wherever there are conflicts;
4. Increase penalties for contravening the Fisheries Act;
5. Improve public participation in decision making, under the principles of the Oceans Act, in particular engaging coastal communities in local fisheries management.
• Restructure Fisheries and Oceans Canada into three separate branches: Management, Monitoring and Enforcement, and Research;
• Strengthen legislation that protects fish habitats and fish stocks from over-fishing and pollution;
• Implement measures to quickly phase out open-ocean net-cage fish farms and ensure that this aquaculture industry does not continue to harm wild fisheries;
• Give funding priority to small-scale projects to restore and enhance wild fish stocks, especially with Aboriginal peoples and traditional fishing communities using traditional technologies;
• Enforce sustainable harvesting technologies such as long lines, cod traps, or significantly modified mobile gear to reduce by-catch of untargeted and threatened species and monitor results to ensure the return of healthy stocks and stop the loss of biodiversity;
• Shift from interception fisheries management practices to selective terminal fisheries;
• Ban bottom-trawling in domestic waters and work internationally to institute a global ban;
• Appraise and support development of different kinds of fishing gear that make a profit, while minimizing by-catch and habitat impact;
• Support development of more sustainable ways of harvesting marine resources, including value-added processing, and developing environmentally-friendly biochemical and pharmaceutical products;
• Support Research and Development of ecotourism as a non-consumptive use of marine biodiversity;
• Provide funding and support to ecological research to discover what factors have enabled natural marine ecosystems to work so well in the past with the objective of restoring abundant stocks and rehabilitating degraded systems;
• Establish an Independent Review Commission made up of marine biologists, ecologists, and resource economists to investigate (with input from fishermen, fishing communities and indigenous peoples) the causes of the enormous decline in Canada’s fisheries resources, and recommend policies and programs to restore offshore and inshore fisheries;
• Repeal the Canada Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Act and the Canada Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Act and adjust regional agreements to give fisheries greater protection from petroleum exploration and development;
• Extend permanent bans on oil and gas exploration and development in ecologically-sensitive areas, particularly the coast of British Columbia and the Gulf of St. Lawrence;
• Encourage a greater role for fishermen and Aboriginal peoples in managing fisheries through co-management provisions in the Oceans Act;
• Ensure that lighthouses remain staffed to perform the essential safety and security work they perform;
• Work with provincial governments to eliminate aquaculture practices that damage the marine environment and threaten human health and seek:
1. A moratorium on new open-ocean net-pen salmon farms and a phase-out of existing farms within ten years;
2. In the meantime, the fallowing of sea pens during wild-hatch salmon runs. …
p.42-43: 1.20 Mining
… Green Party MPs will:
• Call for government action to require life-cycle product stewardship of metals to ensure that once mined they remain in economic service for generations;
• Actively encourage value-added upgrading and manufacturing, to create more jobs and other local economic benefits;
• Work with provinces and territories to ensure that First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities participate in a socially, environmentally and economically meaningful way in mineral development and mining in their traditional areas;
• Vigorously oppose the permitting of any new uranium mines and notify current uranium-permit holders of plans to phase out this industry in Canada, including exports;
• Prohibit the export of fissionable nuclear material;
• Develop plans to fast-track the end to asbestos mining in Canada and assist the Quebec government and industry in phasing out the chrysotile mining industry, providing transition support for affected workers, families and communities;
• Shift Canada’s position to support Prior Informed Consent rules under the Rotterdam Convention for asbestos;
• Push for full-cost accounting for mining and prospecting. Review the benefits of flow-through shares promoting prospecting and exploration in unlikely areas;
• Work with provinces, territories, and industry to ensure that all mining operations are insured for environmental liabilities, and have an adequate pre-funded plan for remediation, both for the short and long-term, when a mine closes, and ensure that waters are not contaminated during mining operations and after a mine closes; …
p.51-53: 2.1.3 Buildings
… Green Party MPs will:
• Develop a national energy retrofit standard designed for a post-carbon economy that will reduce energy use in existing buildings by an average of at least 80% below that of 2009 average structures;
• Develop timelines and targets for raising existing building stock to the new standard with the goal of retrofitting 100% of Canada’s buildings to a high level of energy efficiency by 2030;
• Promote the adoption of this high efficiency standard by:
1. Restore the EcoENERGY program and provide revolving federal loans for retrofits to homeowners, as well as create cooperative programs with other orders of government, aimed at retrofitting the majority of homes across Canada in the coming decade;
2. Dedicate $250 million/year for five years for a low-income retrofit grant program (propose 50% cost sharing with provinces aiming to retrofit 50,000 homes/year, assuming an average cost of $10,000/home);
3. Funding a nation-wide program to upgrade all low-income rental housing on a phased year-by-year basis to be completed by 2030, as Germany is doing;
4. Identifying the barriers to sustainable energy retrofits and eliminating them;
5. Providing refundable tax credits for all energy retrofit costs, based on before-and-after EnerGuide or infrared heat tests for residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings;
6. Promoting tax-deductible Green Mortgages for homeowner energy retrofit costs;
7. Introducing a national program of energy retrofits to public sector buildings such as universities, schools, museums, and hospitals;
8. Establishing a 100% Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance for all businesses for energy retrofit costs;
9. Providing revolving federal loans for residential or business energy retrofits;
10.Instituting mandatory energy audits of buildings that become available for sale and requiring that the audit results be made available.
• Work with provinces and territories to develop and implement within two years, and update annually after that, a new national building code that:
1. Reduces overall energy demand to 15% of current conventional structures;
2. Minimizes the use of fossil fuel based heating and cooling systems;
3. Considers the embodied energy of construction materials;
4. Results in structures, where possible, that produce more energy than they consume;
5. Promotes structures that harvest, reuse, and purify their own water;
6. Is performance-based, opening the way to innovation and unlocking barriers to green design;
7. Require mandatory installation of solar hot water systems and pre-wiring for solar PV on all new buildings;
8. Provide grants of 50% of the cost of solar thermal roofs or walls including solar hot water, as in Sweden;
9. Promote Green Mortgage loans for the remainder of the cost. Establish free energy audits;
10. Provide GST credits for all materials used in buildings that are LEED® Silver or better.
p.54-55: 2.1.5 Renewable energy
… Green Party MPs will:
• Ensure Canada joins the International Renewable Energy Agency;
• Establish the design and management principles of a trans-Canada nationally integrated electrical power grid capable of efficiently transporting high electrical loads and accommodating many diverse sources of renewable electrical energy;
• Develop a transition plan that will transform the existing electrical distribution system into a high efficiency national grid;
• Work with Canada’s wind industry and the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CANWEA) to accelerate the rapid deployment of wind turbines to achieve 20% of Canada’s energy needs by 2025;
• Restore the Wind Power Production Incentive and incentives for projects with approved Advanced Renewable Tariffs that provide power purchase contracts for a diversity of small renewable energy projects;
• Provide a two cent/kWh subsidy for renewable energy produced in any province or territory adopting ART+ (Advanced Renewable Tariffs, net metering, peak power pricing, and plans for renewable grid extensions);
• Support local energy co-operatives forming in provinces or territories adopting ART+;
• Provide substantial Research and Development (R&D) funding for ocean energy technologies in provinces and territories adopting ART+;
• Provide substantial R&D funding for electricity storage technologies in provinces adopting ART+;
• Provide support for power grid extensions to bring wind and ocean power from remote areas in provinces and territories adopting ART+;
• Work with the solar industry to rapidly install 25 gigawatts (GW) of solar PV;
• Work with the solar industry to help them achieve their goal of installing over 5GWp by 2017;
• Work with renewable energy industries to introduce 12 GW MW of ocean energy and to set specific goals for production of biomass and micro hydro energy;
• Work with the geothermal energy industry and the oil industry (for their drilling expertise) in a well-funded R&D program to develop Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS), drilling down to ten km to extract 25 GW of power;
• Develop co-generation and peak power production from methane obtained from the anaerobic digestion of organic waste;
• Develop peak power production from burning demonstrably sustainable agricultural and forest waste as necessary to meet peak power demands but within the constraints of maintaining soil nutrients.
p.57: 2.1.6 Transport
… Green Party MPs will:
• Work with the motor industry, provinces, territories, and other partners to develop a sustainable vehicles strategy, leading to an 85% reduction in emissions below today’s level by 2040;
• Adopt California standards requiring a 30% reduction in GHG emissions from new vehicles sold in Canada by 2020, 50% by 2025, and 90% by 2030. This will drive the manufacture of zero-emission vehicles and the infrastructure to support them. It will also create fuel efficiency standards in line with leading U.S. states for the 2011 model year;
• Kick-start a national fast-charging electric vehicle infrastructure by investing $12 million into travel corridor pilot projects around major urban centres;
• Provide tax incentives to electricity storage, to benefit renewable energy development in every province and territory and maximize the efficient use of existing infrastructure, specifically by amending Classes 43.1 and 43.2 of the Income Tax Act to specify that capital cost allowances apply to expenditures on tangible stand-alone electricity storage assets, regardless of the electricity source;
• Accelerate the market arrival of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and fully electric vehicles by signing the Plug-In Partners advanced purchasing agreement (creating a federal buying pool) with a commitment to buy large numbers of PHEVs for federal government use as soon as they are available. Carbon conditionality clauses in federal contracts will include a requirement for the purchase of plug-in vehicles as soon as they are more readily available;
• Work with all governments and businesses in Canada to join a Canadian green car buying pool and to join the Plug-In Partners buying pool;
• Offer scale-based rebates of up to $5,000 for the purchase of the most efficient vehicles, including electric vehicles, and scale-based fees on the purchase of inefficient vehicles;
• Require mandatory vehicle fuel efficiency labelling, adopting the European system;
• Allow tax write-off benefits only for energy efficient company cars;
• Provide incentives for Canadian manufacturers of electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles;
• Establish a new authority to create a just transition fund for the automobile sector, funded by an additional fee on all sales of inefficient cars in Canada. …
p.61: 2.1.10 Fossil fuels
Green Party MPs will:
• Remove all subsidies and supports to the oil, coal, gas, and coalbed methane industries in Canada;
• Apply escalating Carbon Fee and Dividend to all CO2, methane, N2O, fugitive, and other GHG emissions;
• Apply a carbon fee to all producers of fossil fuels, redistributed as a dividend to every Canadian, as above;
• Work with provinces to ensure no new coal-fired electrical generation plants;
• Work with provinces to place a moratorium on horizontal fracking;
• Pass legislation to keep Canada’s west coast crude oil supertanker-free, ensuring both that a new West Coast oil bitumen-diluent port will not be built and that current bitumen-diluent tanker traffic in the Port of Vancouver be rapidly phased out;
• Work to establish a Federal Ministry of Energy Transition Plan to co-ordinate the transition from a fossil fuel based economy to one based on renewable energy;
• Work to establish a Strategic Petroleum and Natural Gas Reserve to address secure domestic petroleum supply in the event of shortages both short term and long-term, a Natural Gas Emergency Preparedness Plan that addresses potential natural gas supply shortages, and an Emergency Preparedness Plan to address other energy supply crises.
p.66-69: 3.2 Water protection and conservation
… We advocate a renewed federal government role in water management, focused on strong regulations and programs created in collaboration with provincial and municipal governments.
When it comes to our vision for freshwater, the Green message is clear: Keep it. Conserve it. Protect it.
• Keep it. Pressure is mounting to export freshwater south of the border, with trade agreements such as the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA) leaving us susceptible to relinquishing control over our water. The Green Party supports current Federal Water Policy that emphatically opposes large-scale exports (bulk exports) of our freshwater.
• Conserve it. The federal government must work to ensure sustainable use of our water resources and at the same time maintain and improve access to safe water for all Canadians. This includes water metering and pricing that both reflect a fair value for water and foster efficient use, and regulations that protect and enhance water quality and ensure that Canada does not become a haven for water-wasting industrial technologies.
• Protect it. To protect and restore freshwater ecosystems and their ecological services (e.g. as habitats for fish and freshwater species, as domestic water supplies for energy-generation and recreation, as sources of water for irrigation and other economic uses) the federal government has to use its powers, including the Fisheries Act, and its role in inter-jurisdictional water sharing. This is especially important when considering the changes in quality and quantity of Canada’s freshwater that will occur due to climate change. The Great Lakes’ levels will fall, resulting in higher concentrations of toxic chemicals and other pollutants. B.C. rivers will become over-heated, preventing salmon spawning; and farmers will face increasing drought. The Athabasca River is already experiencing significant declines in flow and water quality due to climatic impacts and oil sands developments.
The federal government needs to ensure that watershed protection is the first priority of water protection and establish in-stream flow needs in every 1st and 2nd order stream in Canada. Ecological function of river basins must be protected through strict land use management in those river basins.
Green Party MPs will:
• Protect the fundamental right to clean freshwater for all Canadians today and in future generations by amending the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to enshrine the right of future Canadians to an ecological heritage that includes breathable air and drinkable water;
• Establish a Canada Water Fund of $215 million per year for five years to focus on long-term watershed health, alleviating the problem of run-off of pollutants and nutrients, and to fund the continuation of the Great Lakes Water Quality Protocol;
• Push government to strategically implement the 1987 Federal Water Policy to meet the requirements of sustainable water management – equity, efficiency, and ecological integrity – by:
1. Passing federal legislation to prohibit bulk water exports, building on the current law banning exports from transboundary basins, and immediately remove water from the scope of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) currently being negotiated;
2. Take action to prevent radioactive waste shipments such as the highly radioactive worn out steam generators from nuclear reactors approved to be shipped out of the Owen Sound harbour, through the St. Lawrence Seaway and to Sweden;
3. Establishing regulations and product standards to promote water-efficient technologies in Canada;
4. Ensuring secure, safe water supplies for all citizens, with a focus on First Nations communities, through establishing regulations requiring protection of drinking water at its source, public inspection of domestic water supplies, and mandatory and regular drinking water testing;
5. Provide funding to municipalities through a new ‘Water and Waste Treatment Facilities Municipal Superfund’ (see Section 1.14 Infrastructure and Communities for more on federal-municipal relations) to enable replacement of chlorination systems with ozonation, ultraviolet sterilization, sand filtration, and other safe water purification systems;
6. Conduct an inventory of all polluted groundwater and water bodies. Develop and implement strategies for cleaning them;
7. Enhance the capacity of federal departments and agencies to protect and restore the health of aquatic ecosystems.
• Ensure that water is managed in a way that helps create healthy, sustainable communities and fosters sustainable livelihoods by demanding that government:
1. Replace federal guidelines for drinking water quality with binding national standards that secure clean drinking water and human health;
2. Make federal funding for urban water infrastructure contingent on water efficiency plans that include measurable and enforceable goals and objectives;
3. Provide adequate funding for local and regional flood protection and drought management planning;
4. Provide strategic climate change program funding for water conservation on the basis that water conservation results in energy savings and reduced GHG emissions;
5. Revive the InfraGuide program providing internships in leading-edge municipal infrastructure projects;
6. Shift subsidies and funding away from dams and diversions (including feasibility studies) toward comprehensive ‘ground to the glass’ drinking water protection strategies, especially source water protection, watershed restoration, and community-based water conservation and efficiency planning and programs;
7. Review federal agricultural subsidies and develop transitional strategies to shift production away from water-intensive crops toward less water-intensive local sustainable agriculture.
• Address inter-provincial/territorial and international water-related concerns by demanding that government:
1. Restore ecosystem health to Canada’s coastline and inland watersheds by funding improvements to municipal wastewater treatment systems, with particular emphasis on ensuring shoreline communities and industries stop dumping untreated waste into rivers, lakes, and oceans;
2. Ensure that binding water-sharing agreements among provincial, territorial and federal governments are created within the Mackenzie Basin (within one year). The agreements must reflect contemporary scientific knowledge and principles of social equity, efficiency and ecological integrity. Elements to include:
a. Capping withdrawals from the Athabasca River based on assessment of instream flow needs;
b. Ensuring oil sands developers deal responsibly with polluted waters in oil sands tailings storage ponds (the largest man-made structures on Earth);
c. Placing a moratorium on further oil sands development (i.e. increases in annual production).
3. Review the Prairie Provinces Water Board Master Agreement on Apportionment to ensure it is consistent with contemporary scientific knowledge and principles of social equity, efficiency, and ecological integrity;
4. Address invasive species in the Great Lakes by developing stringent, science-based protocols for ballast water flushing prior to entering the St. Lawrence waterway, and funding for monitoring and enforcement of these protocols;
5. Strengthen the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement to ensure it deals with emerging issues such as endocrine disrupters and pharmaceuticals.
• Support international momentum for the human right to water by establishing a national legally binding human right to basic water requirements for all Canadians (both quality and quantity);
• Increase Canadian aid for access to basic water requirements and sanitation consistent with the Millennium Development Goals;
• Fulfill the need to increase science capacity related to water issues by demanding the government:
1. Enhance funding for data collection and integrated information systems on water use, availability and quality;
2. Link research spending in the natural and social sciences to water policy goals to ensure our higher education institutions create the knowledge base needed for 21st century water management (e.g. emerging issues such as endocrine disrupters, pharmaceuticals and toxics, instream flows and sustainable groundwater yield, climate change adaptation).
p.183: 6.13 Quebec’s place in Canada
… Green Party MPs will:
• Ensure Quebec’s unique place within Canada is recognized and affirmed in all agreements between various levels of government;
• Respect Quebec’s right to opt out of social programs and be fully compensated by the federal government if it provides a reasonably similar program;
• Promote a form of federal-provincial tax-shifting that would gradually reduce the fiscal imbalance;
• Support Quebec’s official representation at UNESCO and ensure that if Quebec and the federal representative do not agree upon a matter then Canada would abstain;
• Rebalance the funding formula to ensure fairness across regions and provinces;
• Recognize the legitimate right of the people of Quebec to freely and democratically determine its full and undiminished sovereignty through a clear majority vote in Quebec on a clear question in favour of secession, provided it is politically and legally recognized by the international community.