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SCC - RIO Report Card


THE THIRTEENTH ANNUAL RIO (REPORT ON INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS) REPORT CARD, 2005

SUMMARY

Grading the Government of Canada and the Provinces/Territories on their Environmental and Sustainable Development Commitments


Sierra Club of Canada has been researching, writing and producing the RIO Report Card every year since 1993, marking the first anniversary of the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and every anniversary since. The report card, now in its thirteenth year, continues under the name RIO, as an acronym and not a city. R.I.O. stands for “Report on International Obligations.” We continue to measure progress on environment and development commitments, whether reached in Rio, Kyoto, Johannesburg or Stockholm.

This is the first report card to grade an entire year of the federal government of Prime Minister Paul Martin. The year has been rocky, interrupted by a federal election that elected a Minority Government. Although hopes were high for environmental achievement in a Parliament with a majority of parties strongly favouring Kyoto, the reality was unpleasant. For a Minority Parliament to work, parties need to be able to set aside partisanship to achieve shared goals. Many in the environmental movement, including Sierra Club Canada RIO Report Card team, expected that Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe would work with the Liberal government to achieve progress on Kyoto. Sadly, this was the most partisan, nasty and toxic session of Parliament in living memory. Statesmanship cannot exist when governed by daily polls to see who is up and who is “on the ropes.”

In the brinksmanship created by an election threat, Jack Layton and the NDP acted in the interests of the country and the planet. The assistance in passing the Budget Implementation Bill and additional budget measures was applauded by the environmental community and Canadians in general.

Against this backdrop, less has been accomplished than we had hoped when the minority Parliament was elected. If we were grading for effort, Stéphane Dion would deserve an “A.” But Sierra Club of Canada's RIO Report Card team are not easy graders.

The record is mixed. Progress has been made. Significant amounts of money have been committed, but overall, the record is merely average.


FEDERAL GRADING

SUBJECT GRADE


Commitment to Increase Overseas Development Assistance to 0.7% of GDP


C+

Commitment to Reduce Greenhouse Gases

B-

Federal Commitment to Biodiversity

D+

Commitment to Review and Reform Pesticide and Toxic Policies

F

Commitment to Environmental Assessment

C+

Agenda 21 Commitment to Make Trade and Environment Mutually Supportive

F

Commitment to the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Living Marine Resources

F

Forests

C



PROVINCIAL/TERRITORIAL GRADING

PROVINCE /TERRITORY SUBJECT GRADE


Newfoundland and Labrador


Biodiversity

Climate Change


B-

B-

Nova Scotia

Biodiversity

Toxic Chemicals / Pollution

Climate Change

C+

F

F

Prince Edward Island

Biodiversity

Climate Change

B

A-

New Brunswick

Biodiversity

Toxic Chemicals / Pollution

Climate Change

B

F

C-

Quebec


Biodiversity

Climate Change

B-

B-

Ontario


Biodiversity

Climate Change

B-

C+

Manitoba

Biodiversity

Climate Change

C

B-

Saskatchewan


Biodiversity

Climate Change

D+

C-

Alberta


Biodiversity

Climate Change

F

F

British Columbia

Biodiversity

Climate Change

F

F

Northwest Territories

Biodiversity

Climate Change

C

F

Yukon

Biodiversity

Climate Change

D-

F

Nunavut

Biodiversity

Climate Change

D-

B-



For the full RIO report card, or for more information, please visit our website at www.sierraclub.ca/national/rio, send us an email at info@sierraclub.ca or call Sierra Club of Canada, National Office at 1-888-810-4204