A challenge against oil tankers

Image via http://www.nationalobserver.com/
Image via http://www.nationalobserver.com/

Justin Trudeau discusses a BC-specific environmental platform

By Mercedes Deutscher, Staff Reporter

Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, recently visited Vancouver to explain his environmental platform in preparation for October’s federal election.

One of his environmental positions is opposition to oil tankers and oil pipelines.

In support of stopping crude oil traffic throughout Canada, Trudeau tells the Vancouver Sun that he believes it is of great importance that environments, particularly BC’s, continue to remain pristine and that oil tankers do not damage them.

Trudeau promised in his interview with the Vancouver Sun that if he and the Liberal party are elected, he will review and alter the process that goes into planning projects with a potential impact on the environment, saying that, “projects currently in the works and in the future will actually establish the public trust necessary.”

Part of this re-evaluation of policy will also involve discussing environmental issues with those who are of aboriginal descent. As well, Trudeau wishes to reform the National Energy Board in an effort to increase the importance of public input.

In response to the English Bay oil spill in April, Trudeau added that the Kitsilano Coast Guard would be reopened, in an effort to increase oil spill emergence services.

In addition to taking a critical look at oil-related traffic and policies, the Liberal Party wishes to make national parks more accessible to all Canadians. In honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary, admission to national parks would be free, and, after 2017, admission would remain free to children and new Canadian residents. He would also restore $25-million of funding cuts.

Other environmental reforms suggested by the Liberal Party include creating a plan to reduce carbon emissions by charging industries for the amount of carbon that they are putting into the environment; investing more in sockeye salmon monitoring programs; and increasing marine environment protection by 10 per cent. The Liberal Party would also like to establish a line of clean energy, without the use of fossil fuels, for both Canada and the rest of North America, pending assistance from the American and Mexican governments.

Many have come out to criticize Trudeau’s environmental platform. Mike Hudema, representing Greenpeace, told the Vancouver Sun that he believes Trudeau’s ideas are too vague and not specific enough to tackle climate change. The NDP similarly criticizes the Liberal environmental platform, adding that many policies have been borrowed from their environmental plans. The Conservative government criticized Trudeau for being too naïve in his policies.