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Environmental Issues in the 2011 Canadian Federal Election

Green Lifestyle  (tags: Canada, climate-change, economy, elections, energy, environment, government, greenhouse gases, green living, health, pollution, protection, Sustainabililty, water )

- 2625 days ago -
In addition to ensuring a healthy, sustainable future, "environmental concerns are a vital economic issue. Before voting on May 2nd, all Canadians should look at each party's environmental platform."

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Mike S (86)
Sunday April 17, 2011, 3:14 pm
Noted and thank you Julie. No surprises here.

Past Member (0)
Monday April 18, 2011, 8:55 am
A few quick details:

The reported NDP platform (which might not actually match its real platform, I don't know):
As far as I know, Canada has very little to no potential for solar power, with its latitude and relatively low sun-intensity. Not only does it have no dry climates, but the minute snow falls on the station power shuts down, and it snows nearly everywhere in Canada. (Where it doesn't snow, the region is very moist and tends to have heavy cloud-cover.) Even worse, the weight of water (snow or ice) building up on flat and pretty delicate surfaces can damage them, so they would have to be cleared or heated, potentially actually costing more energy to maintain than they produce.

Wind is a flat-out bust. I recently checked a wind-industry website. Despite saying it is the cheapest form of power-generation out there, its listed per-kilowatt cost for installation actually left its initial cost higher than that of nuclear. On top of that, the power is intermittent everywhere so you need a backup generator to go with it. Even worse, the turbines are exposed to the weather and rain. They need to be heated in the winter or they will break. They may actually provide negative net-energy with Canadian winters.

B.C. is sitting on top of a subduction-zone which apparently has huge geothermal potential, enough to, if harnessed entirely, provide half of the province's current power-needs. The problem is that the subduction-zone, where the potential is, is below the Rocky Mountains, not near major population-centers or anywhere you could reasonably build a power-station.

Wave power has enormous potential, but is mostly an engineering-nightmare where not already in use. The federal government, under the Conservatives, began an initiative to help fund more standard hydro-power in the Maritimes. The rest of Canada's hydro-potential, near population-centers, is mostly used, except for tidal power. There has been discussion of trying to use the tides to generate power for ages. The problem is building a dam over a region so large it is not just a dot on a page-sized map of the world, and making it strong enough to withstand the tides over such a large area twice a day.

Energy conservation in transport and construction is good in theory, but in practice it normally gets messed up. They call the standards "efficiency-standards", but they are in fact energy-use standards. There is a massive difference. One classic example is the U.S. standard on washing-machines. Energy-use per wash-cycle had to drop so newer machines are just smaller. It takes more cycles to do the same laundry, in the end actually using more energy than before. If the NDP can find a way to turn those energy-use standards into genuine efficiency-standards, I will applaud their effort on the matter.

Regarding the reported Liberal platform:
There has been a study of cap-and-trade in Canada. It won't happen there until it happens throughout the U.S. Companies would just move south, there would be no help to the environment, and Canada's economy would suffer. This is especially true now as Canada is a major attractor for foreign investment. It received a $9 billion increase in foreign direct investment (stock-purchases) during 2009, the height o the recent global recession when economies were generally shrinking.

Carol H (229)
Monday April 18, 2011, 11:23 am
noted, thank you Julie

Julie P (154)
Monday April 18, 2011, 3:01 pm
Bloc, Green, Liberal and NDP parties responses to a survey from Environmental Defence, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Equiterre and the Pembina Institute on climate plan, carbon pricing, greener energy, transportation, Great Lakes, tankers, protecting public land and water, marine protected areas, oil sands and toxins in consumer products

Julie P (154)
Monday April 18, 2011, 3:08 pm
The Bloc, Green, Liberal and NDP parties also responded to a survey from the WSPA indicating their positions on animal welfare issues.

Robert Tomlinson (62)
Monday April 18, 2011, 3:26 pm
Thanks for the info. I am always interested in the political situation in Canada.

Annick Letourneau (67)
Monday April 18, 2011, 7:34 pm
Good, thanks x

Bruce Van Tassell (7)
Tuesday April 19, 2011, 7:23 am
I do want Harper and his support Corporations fist and club as many seals out of office. This election is one of the worst from gender inequality on a national scale to whitewashing so many major issues that deeply concern all of us in Canada. Would elect the local dog catcher before marking an X on any Conservative box.

Michael O (176)
Tuesday April 19, 2011, 12:47 pm
Thanks Julie. This is an excellent summary of who we should vote for if we have any concerns at all about environmental issues. It's time to vote "ABC" - Anybody But Conservative...

Patricia N (9)
Tuesday April 19, 2011, 10:59 pm
I wouldn't vote for the Conservatives for any amount of money......even the old Conservative party which was quite good in comparison to the neo-conservative one we now have. I usually vote NDP as they keep the others on their toes by actually talking about helping the ordinary Canadian with health care, education and pensions that the government should be implementing. Then the ordinary Canadian tells their party they should be doing these things and, sometimes, they get done.

Shelly Peterson (213)
Wednesday April 20, 2011, 2:28 am
GOOD ARTICLE JULIE!!I AM HAPPY TO FORWARD THIS TO ALL OF MY CANADIAN FRIENDS. Good luck with your elections on May 2, 2011!!!!

alicia m (97)
Sunday July 3, 2011, 2:35 am
noted, gracias and with kind permission please visit

thank you
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