Written by Denise Deby.
One of the most important things you can do for the environment: vote.
For context, here are some of the things the current Conservative government has done:
- Weakened laws protecting the environment, to make it easier for industries to operate in ways that harm species, habitat and waterways;
- Dismissed thousands of scientists and other public servants working on environmental issues; cut environmental programs;
- Restricted government scientists from speaking to the media or reporting on their work;
- Closed science libraries and destroyed research findings;
- Shut down or defunded the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, the Experimental Lakes Area, the Canadian Environmental Network and other groups;
- Hampered or withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other international agreements;
- Used audits to increase scrutiny of environmental groups;
- Promoted unsustainable oil, gas and tar sands production and expansion;
- Failed to consult Indigenous people on environmental and other issues, or address their concerns.
- (For more examples, see Ecology Ottawa’s page or this A\J article.)
Meanwhile, almost 5 million Canadians are living in poverty, and more than 3 million people are food insecure. Two-thirds of First Nations communities have been under at least one drinking water advisory in the last 10 years. And so on.
The current federal government has also cut support for international aid to address water, health, food security and other challenges, despite Canadians’ willingness to provide this.
By voting on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015, you can change this path.
Find out how and where to vote from Elections Canada here.
Learn where the parties and candidates stand:
On climate change policies (via Environmental Defence and Equiterre)
On the environment (via David Suzuki Foundation)
On science and research (via Evidence for Democracy)
On food policy (via Ottawa Food Policy Council)
On health care, housing, inequality and other social determinants of well-being: (via the Canadian Association of Community Health Centres, Canadian Health Coalition, Ontario Health Coalition, Canadian Nurses’ Association, Healthy Debate, Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres of Ottawa, Homeless Hub and Housing for All)
On support for municipal issues (via the Federation of Canadian Municipalities).
(For more on the issues that will be affected here in Ottawa by the election outcome, see also http://www.makingvotescount.ca/federal/i-care-about and http://www.fcm.ca/home/issues/roadmap-for-election-2015.htm.)
See more on Ecology Ottawa’s Election 2015 analysis here.
And please vote on October 19!