Will Environmental Policy Shift with New Minister?

With today?s appointment of John Baird as environment minister, the Conservative government has a new opportunity to deliver regulations and programs that protect Canada?s ecosystems and meet our international obligations.


?John Baird is no environmentalist but he is an experienced cabinet minister. Still, he cannot succeed in the difficult environment portfolio unless he has a clear mandate to act from Prime Minister Stephen Harper,? said Stephen Hazell, executive director of Sierra Club of Canada.
The Prime Minister?s mandate to Minister Baird and other ministers regarding Climate Change must include:
– Recommitting to meeting Canada?s Kyoto targets and redeeming Canada?s international reputation;
– Accelerating issuance of regulations that reduce industrial emissions of greenhouse gases and drive innovations in energy efficiency;
– Eliminating the $1.5billion in annual subsidies to the oil and gas sector;
– Regulating California vehicle emissions standards.
?This is an opportunity for the government to show real commitment to meeting its obligation to enforce the Species at Risk Act,? said Jean Langlois, national campaigns director of Sierra Club of Canada.
The Prime Minister?s mandate to Minister Baird and other ministers regarding Species at Risk must include:
– Keeping politics out of the listing of species at risk in Canada, which must be based on science;
– Ensuring that recovery strategies identify the habitat that species need;
– Taking effective action to protect habitat.
Sierra Club of Canada hopes this Minister will bring a spirit of cooperation and consultation with all Canadians, and a commitment to halt human-caused climate change and loss of biodiversity.
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Contacts:
Stephen Hazell, Sierra Club of Canada (613) 724-1908
Jean Langlois, Sierra Club of Canada, (613) 241-4611
Katie Albright, Sierra Club of Canada, (613) 241-4611 communications@sierraclub.ca

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