After years of watching the Conservatives make excuses for the oil sands, give tax breaks to large corporations and give tax breaks to factories rather than encouraging a greener economy, the groups are moving on. This week several environmental groups will approach the provincial premiers as they gather in Halifax for the Council of the Federation.
The premiers have also experienced some difficulty communicating with this federal government – The Prime Minister hasn’t attended a meeting with the gathered premiers in the past three years.
Lots of energy resources
While the environmentalists try to get their message through to the gathered premiers, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) will also be lobbying the group to “better market Canada’s energy resources.” It is unclear whether this means the selling of Ontario and Quebec’s hydro-electric power, Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore drilling or Alberta’s oil sands is unclear, but, of course, the Harper government is only focused on selling the oil sands to China. The CCCE has indicated that they want to talk about sustainability.
Among the premiers, Alberta’s Alison Redford is said to be pushing for a national energy strategy. The Harper government is tentative because of the provincial jurisdiction and the potential cost, but it is likely they are more receptive to the plan as it comes from Redford, a friend. Redford has already reached out to Ontario Premier, Dalton McGuinty, whose support would be necessary to get any plan started.
McGuinty has his own issues to be concerned about – Ontario was built on manufacturing and now factories are being shut down or moved out of the province and there is no other industry replacing them. He should be receptive to the sustainability message if Ontario wants to move forward.
As Greenpeace’s Keith Stewart told the Canadian Press: “If the premiers go along with Harper’s plan, then Canada will miss out on the green energy revolution that is our best hope for a prosperous future.”
Photo Credit: Peter Blanchard
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may
not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.