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Conservatives and the Environment don’t mix

The Liberals were highlighting an Infrastructure Canada performance report yesterday, which shows that the Conservatives failed to spend 75% of their budgeted funds for Canada’s Economic Action Plan in Year 1 of its inception.

The column that caught my attention was this one:

Green Infrastructure Fund
Planned spending $200 million
Actual spending $5.7 million
Percentage spent: 3%

This was the worst percentage of the categories that the Conservatives had in failing to put forth the funds allocated. Consider also that they spent 10 times as much on their propaganda advertising effort – 50 million$ – to convince Canadians they were actually doing something to try and stimulate Canada’s economy.

That goes to show 2 things:

1) It’s not just Greenhouse Gas Emissions/Climate change policy that the Conservatives have treated very poorly as a file on the Environment; it’s the Environment in general.

2) It doesn’t matter who the Environment Minister is in this current Harper government –  neglect of the Environment is official Conservative government policy, it seems.

6 comments to Conservatives and the Environment don’t mix

  • Al

    The rest of the $200 million was used to pay for the fake G20 lake:)

  • TofKW

    JimBobby wrote: “We have sacrificed industrial/manufacturing jobs for oil-field jobs and profits for big oil corporations.

    In other words sacrificed Ontario & Quebec for Saskalberta. I wish more people would see that, specifically voters in ON and QC.

  • Excerpt from American Prospect article, Losing Our Future:

    Consider Germany. During the 1980s, while the U.S. dramatically reduced investment in research and technology development in renewable energy, Germany was forging ahead. In 1991, Germany began implementing a regulatory mechanism called a feed-in tariff, which requires utilities to purchase all the renewable power that is produced, at prices set by the government. Purchases are subsidized, but the subsidy declines over time as technology becomes more efficient. Green-energy producers thus enjoy a reliable domestic market that encourages investment in technologies and reduces the unit cost of production. German federal research and development funding, direct subsidies, tax allowances, and loans for renewable energy have been in place since the 1970s, and Germany’s increasing production capacity is directly linked to industrial goals.

    Germany’s soft mercantilist approach favors German firms. Both national policy and the preferences of German companies to use domestic suppliers have led to the development of strong supply chains. While Germany has turned to Chinese and other foreign suppliers of some components, both the government and the industry seek to keep high-end manufacturing in Germany. Though Germany is not notably windy or sunny, these policies have put Germany among the world’s leading exporters of wind and solar technology. Comparative advantage was created by public policy. German employment in renewable energy is about 273,700, and the German government estimates that it will reach 400,000 by 2020.

    Economies do not change overnight. The fossil fuel economy has been entrenched for more than a century. Does anyone with half a brain think Obama or anyone else can transition to a carbon-free economy in a couple of years? In order to move forward, we must take a step forward.

    BTW, the Ontario/Samsung deal is not a $9 billion contract from the taxpayers. Sanyo is investing $7 billion of its own money into green energy projects that are expected to create 16,000 jobs. Ontario has agreed to pay Samsung $437 million in subsidies. Facts are important.

    Canada has pegged our dollar to the price of oil. Our reliance on the resource sector, particularly Alberta’s oil, has made us a petro-state with a petro-currency. As that currency has risen in value, the export cost of our manufactured goods has risen. We have sacrificed industrial/manufacturing jobs for oil-field jobs and profits for big oil corporations.

  • billg

    What Green economy? Why dont the Libs embrace it? Why dont more people vote Green? Why are the NDP stuck at 12% if they embrace it? Why, with Obama as Prez isnt the US ahead of every other country in the world re the new green economy. Why is California bankrupt?..its the state that has led the way in the greening of its economy. Here in Ontario, a green Liberal premier has awarded Sanyo a 9 billon dollar contract to make us windmills, that, at best might reduce the grids need by 2%, that is, when the wind is blowing. The media doesnt report it because, well, there is no green economy. The technology has not been invented yet. Our basic lifestyles, our food, our homes and hospitals and schools all run thanks to fossil fuels, and, will continue to run on fossil fuels for the next 50 years…on this both Lib and Con party agree. Wouldnt it be a good idea to perfect the technology first or, would you guys rather Gore et all continue to make billons of dollars in failed carbon stock market trading schemes?

  • foottothefire

    Well good for the Liberals but, not one newspaper or TV channel I watched could be bothered to report as much…Liberals have a problem. Better they solve that one first.

  • As long as Canadians keep believing that environmental action is in competition with economic prosperity, the Cons will be able to neglect the environment. When more people wake up to the fact that Canada is missing the economic boat due to our intransigence on environment and climate action, we may see some progress. BTW, Ignatieff is also very weak on environmental issues and there does not seem to be any Liberal environmental champions speaking out. I think the LPC has also bought into the “environment versus economy” false dichotomy, too. The Libs have squandered the chance to pick up green and Green voters that Dion achieved and Iggy has not proven to be more popular than Dion, according to the polls.

    Here’s a good quote I came across recently:

    “So-called global warming is just a secret ploy by wacko tree-huggers to make America energy-independent, clean our air and water, improve fuel-efficiency of our vehicles, kickstart 21st century industries, and make our cities safer and more livable. Don’t let them get away with it!” – Chip Giller, founder of Grist.org

    The Sir Nicholas Stern Report comes to mind. We simply must address climate change sooner rather than later or our children and grandchildren will reap the disastrous economic outcome of our negligence.

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