Our View: Leadership lacking at the top

what does it say to municipalities when top level of government is backing away from plans to be part of the global climate change solution?

Local governments, especially those in Saanich and Victoria, our two largest municipalities, are increasingly making efforts to reduce their environmental footprints, especially where it involves greenhouse gases.

Most have emission reduction targets in place that they are striving to hit by certain self-imposed deadlines.

So what does it say to those municipalities and individuals when the top level of government is backing away from plans to be part of the global climate change solution?

The Conservatives paid lip service to the problem when Environment Minister Peter Kent said Canada planned to “work toward a new international climate regime which will include all the major emitters.”

Rather than continuing in a leadership position in this critical time of international co-operation and broad acknowledgement of the effects of climate change, Canada is saying it doesn’t want to play ball unless the U.S. – by far the world’s largest polluter, although China is fast catching up – is on its team.

The U.S. has refused to join the Kyoto Protocol from Day 1 and continues to do so, for wholly protectionist reasons. That the Conservatives are choosing a similar path – their eyes remain sharply focused on the revenue-rich oil sands – shows more weakness than leadership.

The fact emerging superpower China assumed a leadership position at the recent international climate conference in Durban when Canada, No. 8 on the polluters list, so clearly distanced itself from one, clearly indicates we’re moving in the wrong direction.

The effects of climate change won’t get put on hold just because governments decide that for now, they must throw all their energies into economic recovery.

Sadly, this step backward in Canada’s efforts to be part of the solution could have the net effect of reducing the long-term economic prospects of future generations.

Ironically, the people making such decisions now likely won’t be around to witness the aftermath of their short-sighted choices.

Just Posted

Nearly a dozen coonhound puppies and their mother to reunite at Saanich park

Dogs’ former foster family initiated one-year reunion plans

Trio brings roller skating fever to Greater Victoria

Roller Skate Victoria offers workshops, summer camps and more

Central Saanich Fire Dept. now sun powered – good for budget and environment

Over production of power fed back to grid, results in credits over the winter

Government Street to be transformed into ‘people-priority’ zone

Victoria city council voted to limit traffic in the area by 2022

Westin Bear Mountain hotel sold to local businessman and entrepreneur

Ecoasis will maintain responsibility of golf and tennis operations and developable lands

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Port Hardy RCMP cleared in arrest that left man with broken ribs, punctured lung: IIO

The IIO noted the matter will not be referred to crown counsel for consideration of charges.

Most Read