December 21, 2005
1) If your party forms the government, will you adopt the California Clean Air greenhouse gas standards that will require new cars to be 33% more fuel efficient by 2015?
The Conservative Party of Canada favours a balanced approach to fuel efficiency and energy conservation. We believe that a mix of voluntary and regulatory measures would achieve the best energy efficiency outcomes in the transportation sector. A Conservative government is committed to implementing a 16% federal tax credit for Canadians who use public transit passes for buses, light rail transit or subways. This program is universal, applicable to any transit rider from the student to the senior citizen. The program acts as an incentive to commute via public transit, and is a Made-in- Canada environmental solution which enables us to address the challenges of smog and climate change.
2) If your party forms the government, will you commit to ending federal funding support for this deadly industry ($700,000 announced in early December 2003) and support instead the just transition of workers?
Currently, the Conservative Party has no plans to change the regulatory regime governing the safe and controlled use of chrysotile asbestos.
3) If your party forms the government, will you be prepared to use the emergency and safety net provisions of the Act to truly protect endangered species?
A Conservative government would work cooperatively with the provinces and territories to help protect species at risk. According the OECD Environmental Performance Review forCanada(2004), 160 of the 613 species listed as being at risk are in danger of immediate extinction. We are sure that Canadians are not aware of the degree to which the federal Liberal government has allowed our environmental integrity to erode. We believe that biodiversity is an important indicator of the environmental health of our nation and we must work to preserve it.
4) If your party forms the government, will you commit to ending subsidies to Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL)?
A Conservative government will be conducting a review ofCanada’s energy framework to develop a national energy strategy to ensure that we have sufficient supplies to meet our future energy needs. We believe that presently, nuclear power should remain part of our energy mix to ensure security of supply and continued economic growth. The AECL provides a valuable oversight function ensuring public safety and environmental responsibility which must be maintained as a number of Canadian reactors will be refurbished and decommissioned over the next number of years.
5) If your party forms government, will you commit to a re-negotiation of Chapter 11 and to ensuring no similar provisions in any new trade agreements?
The Conservative Party of Canada believes that the North American Free Trade Agreement has been largely beneficial to the Canadian economy; however, we do recognize that there is room for improvement and a Conservative government would be committed to working on behalf of Canadians to negotiate improvements to the agreement.
6) If your party forms government, will you commit to a long term strategy to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030?
Unfortunately,Canada’s record on reducing greenhouse gas emissions is not exemplary and has proven that simply being a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol does not translate into action on addressing climate change.
It is becoming clear to many in the international community that a number of signatories to the treaty will not meet theirKyototargets. A recently released United Nations report on emissions reductions has confirmed thatCanadais the worst offender of all with an increase in emissions of 24 percent above 1990 levels; not the 6 percent reduction needed to meet our targets.
The Conservative Party of Canada believes that a long term, global, and inclusive approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions is the only tangible and workable solution to tackling the challenges of climate change. We agree withUKPrime Minister Tony Blair that a plan to address climate change must include China,India, and theUnited States.
At the national level, a Conservative government, in cooperation with the provinces and territories, would address the challenges of climate change by initiating a made-in- Canada plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As part of that plan, we will encourage research and development into innovative energy conservation technologies and alternative energy opportunities.
7) If your party forms government, will you commit to a public commission to allow the Canadian public and Canadian Parliament a full debate on whether these subsidies are in the Canadian national interest?
A Conservative government will be conducting a review of all discretionary spending as we determine our government’s spending priorities.
8) If your party forms government, will you commit to using the Pest Control Products Act to ban or restrict the use of pesticides with the potential to cause cancer, birth defects, immunological suppression or neurological damage, from use for cosmetic (lawn care) and/or household use, giving every Canadian equal protection?
A Conservative government would work cooperatively with the provinces, territories, and municipalities to ensure that a workable, reasonable, and balanced solution on the use of cosmetic pesticides can be reached.
9) If your party forms government, will you commit to implementation of the Oceans Act with authority superior petroleum boards to allow ecosystem based decisions and the precautionary approach to be respected?
Conservatives are saddened by what we see happening inCanada’s oceans. The Environment Commissioner confirmed our worst fears in her recent report when she stated: “Canada's oceans are at risk, we've seen major declines in some fish stocks, the continuing introduction of pollutants and invasive species, and declining biodiversity and productivity. Fisheries and Oceans Canada has failed to turn the tide on this worsening situation.”
A Conservative government would be committed to working with the provinces and territories to improve that state of Canada’s oceans and to live up to our stewardship responsibilities overCanada’s oceans. A Conservative government would extend custodial management of the nose and tail of the Grand Banks and the Flemish Cap in theNorth Atlanticto beyond the 200 mile limit to the edge of the Continental Shelf. We are also committed to investing more in fisheries science and research; and establishing an independent judicial inquiry into the collapse of the sockeye salmon stocks on theFraserRiverinBritish Columbia.
10) If your party forms government, will you commit to Ecological Fiscal Reform measures such as tax shifting or feebate, and, without raising taxes, realign the fiscal system to tax those things we do not want (pollution) and reward those things we do (innovation and jobs)?
A Conservative government would support a sensible tax regime which helps achieve positive results for the environment which is why we are committed to implementing a 16% federal tax credit for Canadians who use public transit passes for buses, light rail transit or subways. This program is universal, applicable to any transit rider from the student to the senior citizen. The program acts as an incentive to commute via public transit, and is a Made-in- Canada environmental solution which enables us to address the challenges of smog and climate change.
11) Given the controversial nature of radioactive waste management, will your party support (a) amending the Nuclear Waste Management Act to overhaul the board of the NWMO to include health, safety, and environmental experts? (b) a full parliamentary debate and free vote on the recommendations of the NWMO and the environmental assessment panel.
A Conservative government would consider conducting a program review to determine the best and safest way to manage the country’s nuclear waste.
12) If elected will you complete the national parks system and protect the ecological integrity of existing national parks.
A Conservative government would be committed toCanada’s National Park system. We consider it paramount to ensure that parks already designated get proper attention and funding before we designate any new parks as part of our national system.
13) If elected will you ensure that the review of CEPA enables it to become a piece of legislation as stringent and able to protect human health and the environment asEurope’s REACH program?
A Conservative government will work to ensure that the CEPA review results in a piece of legislation that performs the dual function of protecting human health andCanada’s environment.
14) (a) Does your party oppose the field testing and commercialization of Terminator seeds (Genetic Use Restriction Technologies or GURTs)? and (b) Will your party support a strengthening of the de facto moratorium on Terminator technology at the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity?
A Conservative government would be committed to fostering an evenhanded and fair discussion which aims to arrive at a solution which respects the rights of all the stakeholders involved in this sensitive issue.