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I’ve held off commenting on the upcoming Canadian election. Part of the reason is the unusual campaign length, explicitly done so that the “Progressive” Conservatives can outspend the other parties; why legitimize a deliberate stab at democracy? I also originally planned to do one giant post linking to all the bullshit the PCs have done, but the pile of links I’ve been amassing has gotten to big.

Instead, thanks to this link, expect a series of posts over the coming weeks on why Harper and the Progressive Conservatives must be swept from power.

Just like Nigeria, Canada has no national economic plan that looks beyond fossil fuel energy. And like Nigeria’s states, there is no coordinated energy planning between the Canadian provinces.

Instead, Canadian political efforts, and Minister Joe Oliver’s speaking tours, choose to focus on denying climate change and promoting an unsustainable oil and gas sector dependent on government handouts. The large taxpayer subsidies that both Nigerian and Canadian oil companies enjoy, and that continue to drag on our respective economies, should make our Finance Minister ashamed. […]

Prime Minister Harper has toured the world describing Canada as an emerging “energy superpower,” when in fact we depend on fickle international oil prices and foreign buyers to determine our economic fates. Over 90 per cent of our oil goes to the U.S. and the rest goes to Asia, and demand is contracting in both markets.

This is a triple-hit to our country. By betting on oil, as mentioned above, the Conservatives under Harper are ignoring the reduced demand for it due to an increased focus on non-renewables. They’re also tarnishing our reputation internationally, both by consistently failing to hit environmental targets and by stonewalling against climate change talks (one major report says we “appear to have withdrawn entirely from constructive international engagement on climate.”)

Like Europe, Canada ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2002, promising to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to an average of 6 per cent below the 1990 level over the period from 2008 to 2012. However, instead of achieving reductions, Canadian GHG emissions continued to rise to record levels and by 2011 Canada withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol. […]

At the 2009 Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, the Government of Canada committed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 17 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020. However, Environment Canada’s latest projections show that Canada will again fail to meet its commitment.

On October 7, 2014, Julie Gelfand, Canada’s commissioner of the environment and sustainable development, released a series of environmental performance audits – including one on the federal government’s performance regarding the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The audit reported that Canada has made unsatisfactory progress in: putting sufficient measures in place to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; assessing the success of the few measures that are in place co-operating with the provinces and territories; and developing plans to achieve the 2020 Copenhagen Accord target of a 17 per cent reduction in emissions below 2005 levels for Canada’s economy as a whole.

The report concludes, “The absence of effective federal planning, including unclear timelines, leaves responsible organizations at all levels without essential information for identifying, directing, and co-ordinating their reduction efforts. It also means that there are no benchmarks against which to monitor and report on progress. For example, industries that may be affected by regulations cannot plan their investments effectively. In our view, the lack of a clear plan and an effective planning process is a particularly significant gap given that Canada is currently projected to miss its 2020 emission reduction target.” […]

On October 28, 2014, Germanwatch – a sustainable development advocacy group – reported that Canada is dead last among industrialized nations in a new climate change performance index. Germanwatch said, “Canada still shows no intention on moving forward with climate policy and therefore remains the worst performer of all industrialized countries.”

This lack of policy also means we’ll be playing catch-up on renewals, despite our massive potential to exploit them.