When you cast your ballot in the federal election, we hope the environment will be one of your top priorities. To help you evaluate the environmental platforms of the major parties and choose the best candidate this coming Monday, here are three key issues we suggest you consider.
How they will deal with climate disruption? Cities are at the front line for dealing with the consequences of climate disruption and finding solutions. That’s because most of us live in cities and greenhouse gas emissions largely result from actions we take in cities. We need a Federal Government that recognizes the central role cities play and that works internationally to ensure the best targets and mechanisms are in place to help cities.
Do they support public transit? The biggest source of GHG emissions in Toronto comes from the transportation sector, specifically vehicles. The best way to reduce car use is by offering reliable, fast, frequent and affordable public transit. If this is ever to happen, the Federal Government must become much more actively involved in funding public transit.
Will they invest in green infrastructure in cities? We need more trees, better ways to handle water runoff from severe rainstorms, more green roofs and resilient renewable energy systems. There has been lots of talk about infrastructure investment. But we need a Federal Government that invests wisely in green infrastructure, not just big pipes.
Many different organizations have provided excellent summaries of party positions on these and many other environmental issues. Please check out TTCriders, the David Suzuki Foundation and Ecojustice for three of our favourites.
Most importantly, though, is that you vote. As Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said “Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us.”