The Liberal Factor

The real, straight, unbiased gist going down in the Liberal Party of Canada.

Location: Canada

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

MORALITY: The Greatest Determinate

I can't help but look at the various views within the Liberal party. The lack of cohesion in policy, the attacks on each other because of their views, the 10 leadership camps that exist currently are just some examples. I was distressed at first, but it occurred to me however that the Liberal party should be factioned off as long as it remains strongly united. United and factioned seems contrary, but actually it is inherent in the Liberal party's existence.

Liberal Ideology, at least as it should be, promotes free expression and speech. All cultures are accepted and tolerated. Children are raised differently and are all equal. Religion is given no dominant position, which is arguably the most important part of Liberal Ideology.

Religion is the most influential feature as it is an operation of morality; only as a subset of morality is religion important. Morality is principles and customs on which we conduct our daily life. To steal, to work hard, to goof off, to love, all these minor decisions are decided upon an individuals morality. When these decisions are built and intertwined it is seen they are the substratum or foundation of our more important thought processes. Our political stance is gradually built upon parts of our individual moral codes.

Having an ideology where a common religion dominates, such as conservatism; you arrive at a stronger party because all the individuals have built their political platforms on more or less similar moral codes.

Therefore, I theorize because of, or at least partly due to the Liberal Party's ideology rejecting a prominance of religion, we lack the similar moral base that the conservatives do.

So all the differences we have, all of them make us Liberal.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


To choose a Leadership Candidate to vote for, knowing their relative positions is necessary. This is the second post comparing the various Candidates platforms; in particular this posting will give each Candidates perspective on society's role and other social values of emphasis.

This post compares Ignatieff, Kennedy, Dion, Rae, and Brison.


We need to recast our immigration policies as a crucial element of a national productivity strategy. The federal government should increase its investment in programs that re-train immigrants, that top up their credentials, that apprentice them in Canadian companies so that they can gain Canadian experience. If they can’t get recognition of their credentials in one province, the federal government should assist them to move to provinces that will recognize their skills.
Innovative federal policy has helped to deepen our national experience. The Canada Council, the CBC, the research councils in the social sciences and humanities have all helped to deepen and extend the networks of knowledge and connection that tie us together as Canadians.
An essential deepening of our common experience has been the promotion of bilingualism: increasing the numbers of English speaking children who grew up in French immersion, as well as the number of francophones who learn English in order to advance in the global economy.
But the federal government can do more to promote a national experience: by offering bursaries, internships and tax credits to help young Canadians to study and work in other provinces and to serve overseas in humanitarian and development work.
To build a country, we must create citizens, and to create citizens, we must create shared national experience. We need to make it easier for Canadians to get about their country and begin to feel a love for it in their bones.
My Canada is held together by a spine of citizenship, common rights, responsibilities and common knowledge so that we truly feel we are one people. This is not just an important priority of political leadership at the federal level. It is, in my view, the only priority.
This is a different view of Canada from the one offered by Stephen Harper. He stands for a decentralized, re-provincialized Canada, with growing differentials between the regions and provinces, with growing differences between rich and poor regions and rich and poor individuals. It is a sauve qui peut Canada. His is also an idea of politics which sees government as the problem, when it is often the solution. When Canadians are presented with the choice between the slow provincialization of our country and a Liberal vision that seeks to use government to sustain the equality of our citizenship, I know how they will chose.
(From a speech of his found at


Creating an Enterprising Culture
There are a number of values that we embrace already as Liberals: individual freedom . equality of opportunity for all . social justice.inclusion.
It is time Liberals embrace a new core value: enterprise.
It's something I learned with a mentor Phil Byrne, a businessman who taught me how to be effective running the country's first food bank in Edmonton as a 22 year old. Phil taught me that enterprise is about taking good ideas and turning them into an even better reality.
He taught me that enterprise is about unshackling the power of the individual to make a difference.
He showed me that enterprise is about promoting an innovative, risk-taking climate.
It starts with building an enterprising culture in Canada. While we're not there now, by 2012 Canada should be the best place in the world to start and grow a business.
We must foster Canadian enterprise. While individuals and companies take risks and make businesses grow and thrive, government must be a catalyst to starting and growing businesses, not a hindrance. We must be vigilant that Canada's taxes and business climate make Canada the destination of choice for foreign direct investment. We are competing against the rest of the world for capital and talent. We have to do better if we want to win.
Canada can be more.
The Liberal value of enterprise is about delivering measurable results not only in business, but in government and the not-for-profit sectors.
Enterprise in government is about setting clear targets and delivering measurable results. In order for us to earn the right to govern we must be accountable for the services we deliver and for managing the public's hard-earned tax dollars.
I've seen what enterprise in government can do. In Ontario new, innovative approaches combined with a modest investment in education has seen a 15% jump in reading writing and math achievement in just two years.
In order to build an enterprising culture, Canada must develop an education advantage from early childhood to colleges and universities to skills training.
In order to build an enterprising culture, we must ensure that all Canadians are contributing to the economy to their full potential.
When it comes to immigrant success, Canada can be more.
I will work with the provinces to set out specific success guarantees for English or French as a Second Language Training, Skill and Accreditation Recognition as well as other services to help integrate new Canadians.
We must help bring a new spirit of enterprise to our agriculture and natural resource sectors - those parts of the economy that Canada was founded on - and help deliver a new generation of prosperity for them. In order to do this, we must fight for fairness on the international stage and we must develop a real food strategy for this country.
Canada's cities are drivers of enterprise, sustainable development and innovation. John Godfrey realised this and in conjunction with the provinces, his government started building a real Cities Agenda for this country. Canada cannot be an international country without strong international cities.
As someone who grew up in a small town, I am committed to bringing a new enterprise culture to Northern, rural and Maritime towns. I commit to a national rural strategy that respects that there can't be a one size fits all solution to delivering real results to our communities.
A government dedicated to pragmatic compassion
While Canada needs to build an enterprising culture, in order for Canada to be more, to be the first international country, we must also provide support and opportunities for all Canadians - we must create a government focused on practical compassion.

Practical compassion means being driven by results for people and thinking creatively about new solutions for old problems.

As a country we must finally tackle the reality of extreme poverty head on and spearhead a poverty turnaround in this country. Getting people quickly back on their feet, maintaining dignity and helping them avoid the insidious trap of extreme poverty.

We must confront the challenges facing aboriginal Canadians and work with aboriginal leadership - as equals - to address the historic injustices and current realities facing Aboriginal Canadians.

The Kelowna Accord was a good start - but it was only that, a start. As Liberals we know that we must make improving quality of life for Aboriginal Canadians a priority. Until we get this right, Canada can not be considered a role model to the world.

We need a strategy for senior care because while everyone talks about an aging population, we are not getting ready for it. Families want to be involved in their aging parents care. And yet our social safety net was designed at a time when my generation was being cared for by our parents, not trying to provide care for them.


"By 2016, we will eliminate the Immigrant Success Gap - the difference between the income of immigrant and non-immigrant Canadians of similar education and work experience - for all immigrants who have been in the country for 10 years," Kennedy pledged.

"We have a once in a generation opportunity to help determine the kind of leadership we have and the kind of future we want for our country," Kennedy declared. "The race for the Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada is your opportunity to get engaged, have your voice heard, and make a difference."

Kennedy outlined a seven-point plan to make it easier for immigrants to succeed in Canada. It includes:
• Greater recognition of skilled labour within Canada's Point System
• Increased focus on family reunification
• Improved access to language training
• Strike a Federal/Provincial/Municipal/Business Committee to set annual immigration targets
• Engage new Canadians in reaching our international goals in peace-making, peace-keeping, the provision of humanitarian aid, research and education, and arts and culture.

"We must support those who strive to innovate, build new businesses and open new markets," he said. "Enterprise will be a new Liberal value."


Now, with eight successive surpluses, Canada has had the capacity to improve its social programs and help Canadians across the country experience equality of opportunity. We invested to strengthen our health system in partnership with the provinces. We invested in the excellence of the education of our people so that everyone has the opportunity to make the most of their lives. We had a new partnership with all of the provinces to create a national childcare system to ensure access to high-quality affordable spaces. We achieved a national agreement with our partners in every province and territory to join with the broad aboriginal leadership in a national effort to improve the lives of aboriginal Canadians from coast to coast.
The key opportunity we earned because of our government’s strong financial management of the country was to make sure that we are able to invest in improving the lives of all Canadians, the elderly, our children, families, newcomers, and aboriginal Canadians. This is how we continue to build the fair and prosperous Canada we want.
If you give me the opportunity to be the prime Minister of this country, as a Liberal I will improve our social programs and the social safety net, because I believe that is the key to ensuring that we live in a just and fair society.

And if I were asked to choose the two values the most likely to inspire an effective fight against poverty, I would still choose freedom and solidarity: individual freedom in its different political and economic expressions and the genuine solidarity of all citizens toward one another.
Just as we all have our own idea of the best way to fight poverty, we have our own views on the roles that should be assigned to the federal government and the governments of the constituent entities. But in both cases, upon careful reflection, we seek the best possible combination of freedom and solidarity, both of citizens and of governments.
At this prestigious conference in which I have the honor of participating today, I would like to emphasize that when it comes to fighting poverty within a federal system, there is not a priori one single division of roles among the two orders of government that would be valid in all contexts, for all policies. The appropriate roles of the two orders of government will vary according to what is intended. But the important thing is that the quest for the best division of roles and optimal cooperation between governments be inspired by the principles of freedom and solidarity.
When all the governments in a federation, both the federal government and those of the constituent entities, strive to help one another, in the spirit of respect for the freedom of action of each, they give themselves the best capability of helping citizens, including the most disadvantaged. A federation inspired by such a spirit provides perhaps the most effective political system there is.
In Canada, the fight against poverty has profoundly marked our federalism. Canada is a decentralized federation whose Constitution assigns the constituent entities, known as provinces, numerous legislative jurisdictions of their own. The provincial governments also collect a substantial share of public revenues and thus enjoy great freedom to innovate, to develop solutions tailored to the specific context of their populations. But the federal government also has an essential role, which is to strengthen the solidarity of all Canadians. Our past successes and our future achievements in the fight against poverty have required and will continue to require this combination of freedom and solidarity by all members of the federation.
I have chosen five examples which show, each in their own way, how Canada's federal government and the governments of the provinces were able to combine the creativity of each and the solidarity of all to give themselves powerful tools to combat poverty.
1. The public health system
My first example is one of which Canadians are especially proud: our public health system. In Canada, basic health care is publicly funded. It would be unacceptable to us if our less fortunate citizens did not have access to the same health services as other citizens. Actually, the government that invented this public health system was a provincial government, in Saskatchewan. But the government that contributed the most to extending this Saskatchewan innovation throughout Canada is the federal government.
Our provincial governments make their own health policies. The federal government helps them, notably through funding that comes with only one condition: respect for the moral principles of our public health system, which are: public administration, comprehensiveness, universality, portability, and accessibility.
Canada, like so many other countries, is facing escalating health costs linked to new technologies and an aging population. We are looking hard for solutions to this problem, and we will find them, as always, inspired by the values of freedom and solidarity.
2. Unemployment insurance
The introduction of unemployment insurance in Canada offers an example in which the constituent entities agreed, out of solidarity with the country as a whole, to cede one of their constitutional jurisdictions to the federal government. This occurred during one of the most difficult periods in our social history, the Great Depression of the 1930s....

3. Education
If unemployment insurance in Canada is an example of centralization that has been beneficial to the country as a whole, Canadian education policies represent the opposite case, where maintaining responsibilities at the provincial level has yielded good results...

4. The fight against poverty among seniors and children
The fight against poverty among seniors is one of Canada's greatest social policy successes. Poverty has been greatly reduced among Canada's seniors. In 1965, 41% of senior households lived under the low-income threshold as calculated by Statistics Canada. In 1999, that percentage had dropped to 1.8%....

5. Federal assistance to the less wealthy provinces
One of the key roles for a federal government is to oversee the distribution of the collective wealth among the constituent entities. That is what we believe in Canada, at least. We even made it into a constitutional principle in 1982. We want our provincial governments to be able to provide Canadians, wherever they live, with services of comparable quality....


Today marks National Aboriginal Day and it is a day to reflect both on the culture, history and significance of Canada’s first peoples as well as on the progress and partnership involving First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

The Aboriginal people of Canada, their traditions and history, are profoundly rooted in this land. They represent Canada’s oldest and first cultural legacy, and they represent a range of diversity and richness across the country. Today is the day to celebrate that – be it in song and dance, history and art, and respect for the land.

But we must also recognize progress to date between Aboriginal peoples and the national government – or rather progress postponed. Last fall, under the leadership of a Liberal government, First Ministers met in Kelowna and worked in cooperation with Aboriginal leaders to arrive at a landmark agreement to renew housing, health, child care, early learning and essential social services for Aboriginal peoples. This agreement involved the active participation of First Nations, Aboriginal communities, Inuit and Métis. Despite the crying need to take action on housing, health and living conditions and in spite of the remarkable consensus around the next steps to get us there, the Conservative government has shown remarkable indifference to the achievement and opportunity contained in this accord.

The Kelowna Accord is a model both for cooperation with First Nations, Inuit and Métis and also for how Canadian governments can work together to ensure opportunity for Aboriginal.

Challenges and opportunities lie ahead of us, such as helping to ensure Aboriginal Canadians can participate fully in the work force, through early learning and education and skills training, as well as ensuring Aboriginal governments have the tools and resources to reach their community objectives. I believe that government has an obligation as well as an opportunity to achieve these goals and I want to work with Aboriginal Canadians and our partners to build that future. The time is now.



Scott Brison is a firm believer in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and wants to lead a Canada where there are limitless opportunities and no glass ceilings regardless of gender, sexual orientation, religion or the colour of skin.

He is an advocate of bilingualism and would work with Quebecers to build a more modern federation.

He feels that as a trusted ally of the United States and a respected multiculturalist, Canada can build on the Pearsonian legacy to develop a foreign policy based on our values of human rights, equality and diversity. This would include changing and strengthening the United Nations to avoid future calamities such as Rwanda and Darfur, working with multilateral organizations to promote fair labour practices in developing economies and playing a key role in building a more stable, democratic and peaceful Middle East.

Scott is in favour of immigration aimed at reuniting families and bringing needed skills to Canada. He will also work with professional associations and provinces to help streamline the recognition of foreign credentials so that Canada becomes the entry point in North America for highly skilled immigrants.

He wants to protect the existing role of a strong federal government that respects the jurisdiction of strong provinces. He would respect the Canada Health Act and provide stable and adequate funding to provinces for quality health care and improved access to post-secondary education.

He strongly backs the child care and early learning initiative reached with all ten provinces by the previous Liberal government to give our children the best possible start in life.

He will implement an International Youth Internship Program that would send selected high school graduates to work with non-government organizations on aid development.

Scott wants to ensure that Canadians living in small towns and rural areas have the same access as major urban dwellers to quality services such as health care and child care as well as to high-speed internet.

He would work towards ensuring a fair economic return to farmers and fight at the international level to retain our system of supply management.

He wants to build on the Kelowna Accord with our First Nations, Métis and Inuit and work with our Aboriginal partners to improve their socio-economic conditions with the goal of closing the gap with the rest of Canada.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Liberal Factor is supporting Gerard Kennedy as the next Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

This blog has decided to support Gerard Kennedy in his bid for Leadership of the Liberal Party. This was arrived upon consensus after a short period of conversation. The main and general conclusion is, Gerard will win the next election and be the best Prime Minister. Few of the candidates, in fact none have offered anything new, that is new and positive. Michael Ignatieff has offered a new stance in relation to the Iraq war but that is not favoured by any of the Liberal Factor writers. Kennedy's value of Enterprise is new and innovative and has the connotation of Liberal tradition partnered with rejuvination; the risk of enterprise is exactly what the Liberal Party needs.

Gerard Kennedy's overall Ideology, by far the most social progressive and in a nut shell Liberal, puts him head and shoulders above any competitors. Canada as an International Country is far superior then the secluded Canada of Dion. Kennedy's Canada is a beacon to other countries, alleviating the credentials crisis concerning immigrants who are well trained and can't find opportunity, is but one aspect.

In winning against the Conservatives, Kennedy will prove the task handily. With a proven track record, clear of blemishes, Kennedy will win Quebec and begin a Liberal presence in Alberta. Gerard will be the first Liberal Leader from the west and the western values he brings will reconnect the Liberal Party with its roots and reconnect Canada.

The Liberal Factor unanimously supports Gerard Kennedy as the next Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

We will continue to give as unbiased reports of each Candidates' views in respect to the major issues concerning Liberals.

All prejudice will be avoided, however to be clear there will be Gerard Kennedy endorsements for the philosophical and logical conclusions reached in deciding that Gerard Kennedy is the best candidate to be the next Leader.

Liberals Distracted Leaving Conservatives To Be Cocks.....Of The Walk

Look at all the Liberal blogs, and you either see leadership propaganda, leadership negatives, or defensive maneuvers in response to racist-bordering comments emphasized by our own leadership candidates (cough, Brison, Bennett, cough, cough). What is missing is the determination and creativity of the Liberal Bloggers and the Red Machine blasting those Conservative zealots.

Today they have a huge target on their back, and it's being left unattacked.

The Conservatives, a Party of John A. MacDonald the father of the Canadian Confederation and thus the father of Canadian Identity, have disregarded their Conservative Heritage and have disregarded their very own Canadian Identity and are actually proposing to not just allow foreign takeovers but actually motivate them.

The take over of HBC will not be forgotten. The Hudson's Bay Company was the oldest in Canada and now is American. It is one thing to allow such transactions to take place as consequences of NAFTA, but to actually try to increase such takeovers is asinine.

In today's Globe and Mail

"...the government documents, obtained by Ottawa researcher Ken Rubin, also argue that Canada should consider further reducing foreign investment restrictions, even in sensitive sectors with special barriers: telecommunications, broadcasting, airlines, publishing and banking....

But economist Armine Yalnizyan, also the director of research at the Community Social Planning Council of Toronto, said there are legitimate social reasons why there are restrictions on foreigners controlling sensitive sectors, even though foreign investment does spur economic growth. "All citizens need access to basic services,"....

As might be expected, U.S. companies dominate the buyers' list, accounting for 62 per cent in 2003, compared with 51 per cent in 1990. Britain and Germany were the second and third most important foreign owners of Canadian assets in 2003, accounting for 11 per cent and 6.3 per cent respectively."

This is an immense threat to the Conservative's Party own values, and is an even bigger threat to the Canadian Identity we all share.

This is just the Neo-Conservatives attempt under Harper to Americanize Canada. The Conservative Party should be ashamed certain members of its Party are proposing such a thing.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

McCarthy and Salem have nothing on Brison and Bennett

Brison and Bennett may have Liberal membership cards...

This is very hard for me to accept. I like Scott Brison, I've met him a few times, partied with him and I know he is a really great guy. I can't believe he'd subject himself to the lowest denominator of spastic outroar befit to a Jerry Springer audience member. Carolyn Bennett, ... I didn't expect anything more, as she's grasping straws, Hedy Frye would have been up there as well if she didn't have a comfy sack of dough to sit on in her bunker.

But Scott Brison? Why? He let me down.

I am referring to the situation involving Borys Wrzesnewskyj, Liberals' deputy foreign affairs critic making "statements that Canada should negotiate directly with Lebanon's Hezbollah, which is on Canada's list of terrorist organizations," (From today's Globe and Mail). Immediatly after Borys's statements it was flurried around that he wanted Hezbollah dropped from Canada's list of Terrorist organizations.

The rational for Brison and Bennett to pick up on this is because its Leadership season, well I hope that's the reason; already its a bad reason so if thats not it, Brison and Bennett should really look at their actions. Because Borys had chosen a candidate to support and if you guessed it wasn't Brison or Bennett you'd be right; Brison and Bennett took milliseconds to look at the facts and opened their spit streaming mouths in an attempt to blow the situation out of proportion. Guess what? they did.

Scott Brison and Carolyn Bennett are two prominent Liberals, infact they think they're so prominent that they want to lead the Party. In the midst of this situation just hitting the blogs, the frontline of the media, Brison and Bennett are already asking for Borys's resignation as foreign affairs critic. This is amazing! Brison and Bennett evidently get all their information through divine intervention because how else would they have known the facts. Well maybe it's because they didn't, and because they didn't want to know.

Brison and Bennett began as judge, jury, and executioner even before they talked to Borys, a fellow Liberal! Their own Party Member, they tied him to a stake, doused him with gasoline, and tossed a match. Their behaviour is far more disgusting then Borys's, but wait what did Borys do? Did he have an explanation?

The Globe and mail stated: "Mr. Wrzesnewskyj (pronounced Rez-NEV-skee) has denied he wants Hezbollah dropped from Canada's list of terrorist groups but argued that does not mean Canada should not communicate with it." Wow, so Brison and Bennett in their addresses to get Borys axed were completely off base.

What evidence then did Brison and Bennett go on? Well The Ottawa Citizen reported that "Borys Wrzesnewskyj said: 'Yes, I would be'," to the question "if he was in favour of Hezbollah being taken off the terror list." Now any person who knows the english language must be puzzled by his response, why would he say "I would be"? Unless the question was posed differently then the media let on. The Ottawa Citizen went on to say: "He likened the situation in the Middle East to Northern Ireland, where 'if there wasn't the possibility for London to negotiate with the IRA, you'd still have bombings.'" This explanation is full and completes the picture; clearly Borys does not at this second want Hezbollah taken off the list, and going by his statement there is at least some rational behind it.

All Brison and Bennett had to do was ask Borys. Well I shouldn't say 'had.' I should say that Brison and Bennett shouldn't have resorted to being mouth pieces to their own campaigns and instead should have acted not just as Liberals but as decent human beings and talked to the accused before issuing their verdicts.

I can't believe Scott Brison did it.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006




Scott Brison wants to build on the Liberal commitment to the Kyoto Accord to help forge a cleaner greener Canada, and a cleaner greener world. He feels Canada should become an environmental leader through the preservation and stewardship of the environment. He wants to turn the reality that Canadians are big energy consumers into a positive strategic advantage by making Canada a global centre of excellence for environmental industries. He will offer industries a vastly improved tax credit system to encourage investment in clean and efficient technologies and attract environmental companies from around the world. He wants to make Canada a world leader in the area of environmental clean-ups and he would partner the private sector with CIDA to add expertise on environmental remediation to the tool-box we now offer to help uplift the developing world. He feels there should be legislation to set mandatory pollution reduction levels for motor vehicles. He would work with industry to encourage the production of more alternative-fuel vehicles and encourage drivers to purchase low sulphur or ethanol blended fuels by reducing the federal excise tax on those products. He will work with provinces to improve standards for clean air and water.


News Release June 16, 2006
Releases energy and the environment plan, calls on Canadians to join discussion

TORONTO - Canada will be a clean energy superpower by 2020 under my proposed energy and environment plan, said Liberal Leadership Candidate, Gerard Kennedy today while releasing a discussion paper on the topic, as part of an ongoing series of papers intended to solicit broad input from Canadians. "Energy and the environment are becoming the most crucial issues facing Canadians," said Kennedy. "How we produce and consume energy and what we do to protect and preserve the environment, will determine the sustainability of our economy and lifestyle."

Kennedy's Energy and Environment plan highlights Canada's abundant energy resources including oil and natural gas, the world's largest production of hydroelectricity and untapped potential in alternative energy such as wind, small/low impact hydro, biomass and geothermal power but cautions that current federal energy policies are insufficient and Canada's protection of the environment is too slow and too cautious. "We have the know-how and means to be the cleanest country on the planet but in order for Canada to emerge as a clean energy superpower, we must adopt policies that bring industry, consumers and government together, said Kennedy. "A carbon tax would only serve to divide Canada along regional lines and would be counter to driving national consensus on a national issue." Kennedy's plan is a national framework to get provinces working together toward the same environmental goals and targets and is based on supply and demand of energy, rewarding conservation and ensuring consistent tracking of results.

Developed with his campaign team and input from across the country, the specific strategies and targets outlined in the paper include: A GST exemption of up to $5000, for hybrid, hydrogen and fuel cell and ultra clean bio-diesel vehicles. A progressive gas-guzzler tax on all vehicles that have worse than average fuel consumption, 50 per cent of government fleet purchases to be hybrids or alternative fuelled vehicles by 2010 and 100 per cent by 2015, One per cent improvement in energy consumption per capita in five years and three per cent over the next 10 years, Drive innovation by using the tax code to encourage investment in environmental technologies that will result from higher risk, longer term R&D. Adopt highest possible efficiency in home and commercial heating and cooling by providing incentives for ground-source heat pumps, Create programs and greater incentives for conservation including home retrofit programs and pilot programs to monitor energy consumption and energy cost by the minute. Introduce a mandatory market-based system that allows companies to register and trade emission credits. ·Set national objectives for alternative fuels and sources of energy including: 5 per cent renewable fuels by 2010 and 10 per cent by 2015 5000 MW of wind energy by 2010, and 10,000 MW by 2015 500 MW of new biomass, geothermal and solar energy by 2010, and 3000 MW by 2015.

"We can lead Canadians on the international scene where, until recently, we were respected and admired for our fine environmental record," said Former Minister of the Environment Charles Caccia, " But, we need a leader with a strong commitment to the environment and to environmentally sustainable development; a leader who will not only talk but also walk the talk; a leader who sees beyond the horizon of the next election; We have such a leader in Gerard Kennedy." The plan calls for the decentralization of the decision-making process in order to seek the input of those who are most actively involved in energy production and environmental protection. "We must adopt energy and environment policies that reflect the challenges our producers face from the oil fields off Newfoundland's coast to the oil sands in Alberta," said Kennedy. "We must also actively consider strategies to engage First Nations and other Aboriginal peoples to take full advantage of the economic opportunities that Canada as a clean energy super power will bring."

Why energy and the environment matter to me – and to all of us
Many of us come from the generation that grew up with environmentalism as the central issue facing the future. I was young when the first environmental stories emerged – about pollution, abuse of pesticides, waste and the squandering of resources. I was a youth when the first energy crisis stuck us in the 1970s – and a young adult in Alberta in the 1980s when the huge policy miscalculation, the National Energy Program, harmed the province at that time. I have most recently served as a cabinet minister in an Ontario Liberal government that has made great strides in environmental protection – but we still have a long way to go.

Energy and the environment are becoming the most crucial issues Canadians face. How we produce and consume energy and what we do to protect and preserve the environment, will determine the sustainability of our economy and our lifestyle.

Unlike the Conservatives, who choose to lay blame, chop programs and then throw up their hands in defeat of the issue…
We need to be enterprising. We need to be creative. We need to act.

Our current path is unsustainable – our energy policies are insufficient and our protection of the environment is too slow and too cautious.
As the population grows, energy and resources are being consumed at an ever-increasing rate. The science is undeniable: without change, our air and water, our forests and food, our cities and our homes will face remarkable challenges within a generation.
Sustainable development is a principle by which all government programs should be measured against. As we address the link between energy and the environment, we can also explore how to alter our lifestyles by:
Consuming less
Being smarter and more efficient in our consumption and purchasing choices
Adopting some new thinking about alternative fuels and power
Helping emerging economies to grow in a more sustainable manner.

Canada as a Clean Energy Superpower
Canada can be a “Clean Energy Superpower” by 2020 – less than 15 years from now. We are already an energy superpower. We have the know-how and means to be the cleanest on the planet.
We have one of the most dynamic economies on earth and some of the most abundant energy resources including oil and natural gas, the world’s largest production of hydroelectricity and enormous untapped potential in alternative energy such as wind, small/low impact hydro, biomass and geothermal.

Canada is already an energy superpower, and we will become even more of an energy superpower over the next 20 years. In order to become the clean energy superpower, we must:
conserve energy, and become much more efficient in the way we use it
reduce the amount of carbon we produce relative to the energy we consume; this can be done by switching as much as possible to renewable fuels, as well as using technology to reduce carbon output from fossil fuels
develop carbon sequestration technology so that carbon is not released into the atmosphere when it is produced
offset the carbon we do produce through “carbon sinks” such as reforestation
export our technology and expertise so that our economy is further developed while we pursue environmental sustainability

By consolidating our assets, co-coordinating our energy policies, achieving energy efficiencies, promoting energy conservation, supporting public transit and trains, reshaping the automotive industry and using landfill gases for district heating we can focus on achieving the goal: clean, green power.

Conservatives would abandon Kyoto, cancel incentives and programs to reduce C02 omissions and leave protecting the environment largely to the marketplace. While markets are important and have an important role in solving our energy and environmental challenges, it is only by combining markets with federal, provincial, business and NGO leadership that we will become a clean energy superpower.

Our ability to compete internationally and influence other nations will be measured on our ability to uphold our commitments to the environment.

It is critical that we move forward now.

A National Strategy for Our Environment
The global economy is changing and energy and environment issues are gaining momentum and importance. As an advanced nation, we have a duty and responsibility to develop a plan that maximizes the value of our resources, minimizes the impact of their extraction and utilization and also protects our environment.

We have to decentralize the decision-making process and seek the input of those who are most actively involved in energy production and environmental protection. We must adopt energy and environment policies that reflect the challenges our producers face from the oil fields off Newfoundland’s coast to the energy sector in Alberta.

We need environmental policies that reflect the concerns about smog, water pollution and toxic waste identified by our environmental experts. We need a forum for technology providers that are working to develop new and enterprising innovations and we must consult with aboriginal peoples to protect their ecosystem, while allowing them to take full advantage of the economic opportunities that Canada, as a clean energy super power, will bring.

An Inclusive Framework – How we’ll get there
There is a role for a national framework – a strategy to get the provinces working, in their own way, toward the same common environmental goals and targets.

The framework of the strategy has three pillars –
it will be based on supply and demand of energy
it will encourage and reward conservation and the production and use of clean energy
and it will be measured relentlessly: Is it working? Is it cost-effective? Is the environment getting better and the economy getting stronger?

We will recognize sound environmental stewardship – as a driver for creativity, innovation, product development and ultimately profitability and we will encourage enterprise -- innovators and risk takers should be rewarded for their leadership and for driving innovation.

Elements of the plan include:
1. Setting national objectives for alternative fuels and sources of energy including:
· 5 per cent renewable fuels by 2010 and 10 per cent by 2015 (for example, ethanol, bio-diesel)
· 5000 MW of wind energy by 2010, and 10,000 MW by 2015
· 500 MW of new biomass, geothermal and solar energy by 2010, and 3000 MW by 2015
2. Providing reasonable production incentives to produce renewable energy. For example, we will drive innovation by using the tax code to encourage investment in environmental technologies that will result from higher risk, longer term R&D.
3. Optimizing our national transmission and distribution system (including pipelines and the electricity grids) by:
· Creating national systems that are safe, efficient and secure
· Encouraging investment and development by committing to streamlined and transparent processes (ex. removing duplicative federal and provincial work) and reasonable permitting timelines

4. Encouraging, through federal policies and assistance, provincial utilities to embrace renewable projects and integrate them into their transmission and distribution grids, and to explore energy storage solutions that will make intermittent clean sources of energy more useful in our energy networks

5. Setting national objectives on conservation:

· One per cent improvement in energy consumption per capita in five years and three per cent over the next 10 years. Our energy consumption per capita has been rising over the past 30 years, despite the availability of new technologies. We need to turn this around, and start investing in and using the most efficient equipment and processes available.
· Raising our standards by 25 per cent for energy consumption in new home construction and new appliances by 2015 (through building codes, equipment and appliance standards).

6. Committing government support to smart energy alternatives including:
Hybrid vehicles
Hydrogen and fuel cells vehicles and power plants
Modern, high-efficiency and ultra clean bio-diesel vehicles

7. Introducing a GST exemption of up to $5000, for smart energy vehicles and a progressive gas-guzzler tax on all vehicles that have worse than average fuel consumption.

Canadian cars are typically on the road for more than 12 years. We need to encourage consumers to buy fuel-efficient vehicles, which will have an important impact on the environment for years to come.

8. Ensuring that 50 per cent of the government’s fleet purchases are hybrids or alternative fuelled vehicles by 2010 and 100 percent by 2015.

9. Creating programs and greater incentives for conservation including home retrofit programs, pilot programs to monitor energy consumption and energy cost by the minute. At the same time, speed up the approval process for new energy-savings products and systems.
10. Encouraging the highest possible efficiency in home and commercial heating and cooling by providing incentives for ground-source heat pumps. The province of Manitoba has made important strides in this area, and that good work should be replicated nationally.
11. Instilling reachable goals. All new, large energy development projects should have an “environmentally neutral footprint” (for example, if greenhouse gases and local pollutants will be increased, there must be an offset for the project to move forward). Further, we should introduce a mandatory market-based system that allows companies to register and trade emission credits.


It is time to acknowledge the reality of climate change and get on with the job of taking it on. The well-reported extent of environmental degradation, collapsing ecosystems, loss of species and the melting of our Polar ice cap has dwarfed any claim that we could make of having achieved a state of sustainable development. The science and consequences of global-warming are sufficiently certain that delay is no longer an option. We must immediately commit the resources to addressing the causes and consequences of climate change. Furthermore, I believe that the protection of our health, natural resources and the environment should be grounded first and foremost in science. It is the starting point for meaningfully confronting our challenges in these areas. And while taking on climate change presents big challenges, it also presents big opportunities to develop expertise and leading technologies that we can demonstrate work in Canada and then export to the rest of the world. Canada can take early mover advantage of these opportunities to build new and competitive industries.


Canada's Project Green
Speaking notes for the Honourable Stéphane Dion, P.C., M.P. Minister of the Environment
Vancouver Board of Trade, Vancouver, BC, September 19, 2005
In communicating with Canadians about Project Green, Paul Martin’s vision to strengthen Canada’s position in the new Industrial Revolution - that of the sustainable economy - it is particularly fitting for me to be returning to British Columbia, to address the Vancouver Board of Trade.
Vancouver is a focal point for sustainability, as you host the World Urban Forum and the Olympics, a huge opportunity to showcase renewables and the hydrogen highway.
British Columbia: the province where we see one of our fastest growing economies and highest levels of environmental awareness; home of the Suzuki Foundation and of Xantrex Technology, a world leader in advanced bio-electronics; and the land that gave Canada the three great Davids: David Suzuki, David Anderson, a champion of the environment who cares about the economy, and David Emerson, a champion of the economy who cares about the environment.
I should also mention the other members of the Cabinet from BC: Senator Austin and Ministers Dosanjh, Owen, and Chan; all bring a green conscience to decision making.
Here, in British Columbia, in the shadow of your mountains, of your Douglas Fir and Red Cedar, the environment-economy debate seems to take on a larger scale: the incredible potential of your ocean resources and the no less incredible potential for disaster if they are harvested carelessly; the amazing diversity and richness of the Okanagan Valley and the amazing fragility of its superb, semi-desert ecosystem; the unrivalled development of your forest industry and the ferocity of the pine beetle infestation that your warmer winters cannot slow; the huge volume of raw sewage dumped by Victoria into the ocean every day and the huge cost that will be required to clean it up; the tough challenges posed by your blossoming relations with the world’s new economic giants, India and China, well illustrated by this weekend’s visit of the President of China to Ballard Power Systems, and by Westport Innovations’ increasing involvement in China.
Yes, everything seems to take on a larger magnitude in British Columbia, like your determination in pursuing, at the same time, economic growth and environmental sustainability. Obviously, you share our Prime Minister’s vision: Project Green for a sustainable, competitive economy, a prosperous Canada.
We all want to achieve this goal. But as a country, where do we rank in the global sustainable economy compared to other nations? What are we doing to build on our achievements? These are the two questions that I will address with you.
1. Ranking Canada’s sustainability
Canadians have every reason to be puzzled when faced with the release of comparative studies that periodically assess our environmental performance. Some rank us at a very high level, others at a very poor one. So, are we good or are we bad?
I believe that these studies, however contradictory they may seem, provide useful basis for comparison, as long as they are well interpreted. The same can be said of the reports produced by the Commissioner for the Environment and Sustainable Development, which offer useful information to improve our environmental policies.
Table 1 shows Canada’s ranking against thirty OECD countries plus Russia, using eight recent international indicators. Indeed, our ranking varies from second to twenty-eighth.
The explanation of this discrepancy is that Canada ranks well in most measurements when we look at the state of the environment (such as water quality), but rather poorly in measurements of environmental pressures (such as water consumption per person). So, an overall comparison of these indicators shows that Canada’s ranking depends significantly on how much relative weight is given to “state of the environment” versus “environmental pressures” measurements.
This distinction explains the significant variation between Canada’s ranking in the first six indices (on the left side) and the last two of Table 1. The last two indices are heavily weighted towards per capita measurements of environmental pressures, so Canada ranks lower on the comparative scale. The first six focus more on the state of the environment, so Canada ranks higher.
“State of the environment” rankings measure the condition of air, water, land and life forms. Compared to situations elsewhere in the world, most assessments indicate that Canada’s environment is in very good condition. Rankings based on “environmental pressures” measure the effects of human activities that can be harmful to the environment, or to humans through the environment. For example, polluting emissions and certain types of land use are environmental pressures. From this perspective, we are rarely among the best performers.
Table 2 gives a clear picture of our ups and downs in determining how Canada ranks in both global and OECD contexts. Our air quality is relatively good but our air emissions performance puts us in the mid-range of OECD countries. Our water’s quality is among the best in the world, but our water withdrawals per person are one of the largest. Regarding the issue of climate change, we are among the biggest emitters of carbon dioxide. Our waste management is below the average in the OECD.
To summarize, the state of our environment is good but we are imposing significant pressures on it. The fact is that Canada has a small population in a vast and well endowed country (in terms of natural resources, such as freshwater) compared to situations in other countries. However, on a per-person basis, Canada’s environmental pressures are among the greatest, particularly with respect to greenhouse gas emissions. And this is of course explained by the fact that since we have so many natural resources, we have not been as efficient in their use as other industrialized countries that do not enjoy the same richness of natural capital that we do.
I would argue that in this new industrial revolution in which we find ourselves, it is imperative that we improve our performance regarding environmental pressures, in order to enhance our quality of life and our economic competitiveness. We need to become a more efficient economy, a greener society.
And I am sure that the Vancouver Board of trade shares this view. You know full well that the future of our forest industry, our fisheries and our agriculture depend more than ever on their careful, sustainable utilization; that the vitality of our tourist industry is closely linked to the state of our parks, marine areas and wildlife; that air quality and water quality strongly influence the attractiveness of our cities, the health of our population, the cost of our health care system, the quality of life of our citizens and the productivity of our workers. You know that the issues related to adapting to climate change and limiting greenhouse gas emissions will be significant forces shaping global and national economies for the foreseeable future.
For our quality of life and our economic competitiveness, as well as our natural environment, we need to increase our resource productivity to become more efficient in the use of natural resources, especially energy.
Indeed, in the global economy, resource productivity will become increasingly important as global resource demands and energy costs increase rapidly with an anticipated 50 percent population growth and 400 percent economic growth by 2055. For business and industry around the globe, higher energy prices are requiring them to examine the costs and efficiency of their energy use more than ever. Business and industry must now strive for world class performance in their energy efficiency just as they do in terms of productivity, skills, and research and development.
In a word, we need an economy that does more with less. More productivity, less waste: we need to make sure that our economic strategy and our environmental policy will point in the same direction. We need Project Green.
2. Project Green: Increasing our environmental performance
Over the last year, Prime Minister Martin has given unprecedented momentum to Canada’s environmental policy. The Speech from the Throne included thirteen commitments on clean air and water, energy, climate change and the preservation of our natural capital, which became the basis for Project Green. Last February, our Minister of Finance Ralph Goodale gave Canada its greenest budget since Confederation. In April, the government of Canada released a comprehensive plan for honouring our Kyoto commitments. Our environmental agenda is going ahead on all fronts.
On clean air, we are moving ahead with our Ten Year Clean Air Agenda laid out in 2000, in order to minimize pollution, reduce transportation sector emissions, lower emissions from major industrial sources, improve pollutant reporting by industry, advance clean air science, and engage the public in finding solutions to clean air issues.
Taken together, Canada and the United States already have the strictest vehicle engine and fuel regulations in the world for air pollutants. And the Government has an agenda to further reduce harmful emissions from vehicles, engines and fuels and to improve air quality. Reducing sulphur in fuel for rail locomotives, marine vessels, and off-road construction and mining equipment is an important element of that plan. I know that this is an important environmental and health issue for you here in British Columbia.
One of the key elements of our Clean Air Agenda is a strict regulatory action plan. These regulations will reduce smog forming emissions from new vehicles by 90 percent by 2010 compared with levels in 2000.
Earlier this year, I introduced for public comment, draft regulations that will reduce sulphur in diesel fuel by about 99 percent from present levels by the year 2010 for off-road equipment and by 2012 for rail and marine use. The resulting health benefits to Canadians will include fewer deaths, hospital admissions and days when people experience symptoms of asthma. I expect the final regulatory package to be in place in October.
Our transportation regulatory plan will also ensure that starting in 2007, bus standards will require a reduction of 85 percent from current allowable levels of emissions of NOX and 95 percent for particulate matter levels.
Many of the sources of air pollution and smog fall within provincial jurisdiction. The Federal Government is working very closely with the provinces and territories to implement Canada-wide standards for particulate matter and ozone, the two main precursors to smog. The federal, provincial and territorial governments are also finalizing Canada-wide standards to substantially reduce mercury emissions from the coal-fired electric power generation sector by 2010. The goal is to capture over 60 percent of the mercury released by coal combustion.
In August 2004, together with my counterpart at the US Environmental Protection Agency, I made a commitment to consider negotiating a particulate matter annex to the Canada-US Air Quality Agreement to bring about reductions in both countries. We have completed the background science and are moving forward to make a decision on when negotiations on an annex could begin.
Air quality is a significant concern for the six million residents of the Georgia Basin and Puget Sound transboundary region. So I am pleased to point out that a second joint study under the Canada/United States Air Quality Pilot Project, addressing air quality in this region, was released on July 29.
This study documents the international airshed strategy and initiatives that my Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will implement in collaboration with the Province of British Columbia, the State of Washington and many regional and local government agencies to reduce the effects of air pollution on human health and ecosystems in this region.
We are also working with the U.S. Government to address air emissions from marine vessels and port activities – another concern for the region’s residents.
Finally, we are collaborating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop marine emission reduction strategies that will address emissions not only in the Georgia Basin – Puget Sound area, but also in other marine areas in our countries.
This year’s budget will help us tremendously. It allocates $50 million over two years in support of the Border Air Quality Strategy for the Canada-US Air Quality Initiative, $90 million over five years to accelerate health risk assessments and research on the effects of potentially harmful substances. Our Climate Change Plan, which I will speak about later, will also help improve the quality of our air.
Another very significant budget measure for clean air is the transfer to municipalities of $5 billion of gas tax revenue. This transfer, added to the $800 million from Bill C-48, will support environmentally-sustainable infrastructure projects such as public transit, and will help to purify the air of our cities. It will also help to fund water and wastewater treatment, community energy systems and the handling of solid waste. Added to the additional $300 million the budget invested in the Green Municipal Funds, this New Deal for Cities and Communities is itself a green plan that will improve our quality of life and make our cities and communities more attractive, competitive and prosperous.
Our agenda for water is also substantial, with the five year Water Management Strategy to improve water and wastewater services for First Nation reserve communities; the $28 million that the last Budget devoted to the first phase of the government’s Oceans Action Plan; the $85 million strategy to combat the proliferation of invasive alien species that eat between $13 billion and $34 billion per year out of our economy; and the Canada-wide management strategy for municipal wastewater effluents that the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment have agreed to develop by December 2006.
Last December, Environment Canada published two instruments for the management of risks relating to discharges of municipal wastewater, namely guidelines for ammonia and the preparation of pollution prevention plans for chlorine.
With respect to air and water quality results, we do have some good news. For example, in the chemical sector, annual releases of toxic substances have been reduced by two-thirds since 1992, down to 1,100 tonnes from 3,400 tonnes. Building on our success, we will have classified 23,000 readily available chemical products by September 2006. Canada will be the first country to be able to avail itself of such a systematic analysis to improve its regulatory regime.
As well, emissions of mercury, lead, cadmium and dioxins and furans have each dropped between 65 to 75 percent from 1990 to 2003.
As for better protecting our natural assets, I will mention especially the $269 million that the last budget allocated in additional, much-needed funds to our National Parks. This is good news for the preservation of our natural environment, and good news for our economy. Our National Parks are not only a magnificent part of Canada’s heritage, they also contribute $1.2 billion to Canada’s GDP - the equivalent of 38,000 full time jobs - and are an essential source of revenue for our tourist industry for many of our communities and for Canada’s aboriginal people.
Further to this additional funding for parks, I was pleased to announce this year's extension of the ongoing Habitat Stewardship Program and today I am just as pleased to make another announcement: Parks Canada has completed various projects totalling $1.6 million, including new visitors facilities at Combers Beach and new exhibits at Wickaninnish Interpretative Centre, both in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada.
The Government of Canada also recognizes that the forests and ecosystems in your province, one of the most beautiful natural assets of our country, also require serious action. The mountain pine beetle epidemic is taking its toll and there are serious long-term ecological and economic consequences if no action is taken. Earlier this year, the Government of Canada announced an additional $100 million in funding as a further step to the program announced in 2002 to fight this plague. We are currently working with the Province of BC on our next steps – the development of a comprehensive strategy that will provide a long term solution to this crisis.
This government takes the protection of our marine ecosystems very seriously and could not accept that over 500,000 birds are killed by oil deposited into the marine environment in Canadian waters each year. It is for this reason that the government recently passed Bill C-15, an Act to amend the Migratory Birds Convention Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. The Act, which came into force this past June, substantially enhances our ability to deal with this problem by extending our enforcement regime to the outward edge of the Exclusive Economic Zone.
Through the Oceans Action Plan, we have announced measures to establish marine protected areas on all three coasts including, of course, here in BC. We will continue to work with provincial governments to expand this network of marine protected areas to protect key elements of the marine ecosystem.
But nature conservation is not just about marine protected areas. We must protect and conserve our wildlife, too. With that in mind, last June the Government brought into force the Species at Risk Act. Since the Act came into force, close to 100 species of plants and animals have been added the list of species protected by the Act. It is not good news that we have more species at risk of extinction in Canada. But the Government is determined to do its part in protecting and working with the provinces to recover them before they disappear.
A “conservation first” approach will be used to guide any decisions involving the moratorium on offshore exploration and drilling. We have asked our American neighbours and friends to adopt the same “conservation first” approach and not drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
But we all know that prevention is invariably a wiser course that the react and prevent approach. With that in mind, the Mexican Minister of the Environment, the US Secretary of the Interior and I recently signed a landmark collaborative agreement to conserve and protect the migratory birds the three countries share. Last month I met with Secretary Norton in Washington to discuss how to expand this concept to the hemispheric level and we agreed to raise the issue with Ministers of the Environment of the Americas at their next meeting.
Regarding federal contaminated sites, we have a solid Action Plan whose goal is to complete, within 15 years, the assessment, remediation and risk management of all of the estimated 6000 federal contaminated sites. When we reach this goal, we will have changed liabilities into assets. In doing so, remediation will create new economic opportunities for affected communities, new jobs in the environmental industry, and new innovative technologies.
In Budget 2004, the federal government took important steps to ensure our own house is in order by committing $3.5 billion to cleaning up federally-owned contaminated sites. For this fiscal year, 2005-2006, the federal government has committed an additional $138.7 million to deal with the 97 highest risk sites identified under the Action Plan.
Although the 97 priority sites identified for 2005-06 are located in all regions of the country, 38 of them are located right here in British Columbia and an additional 30 across the three territories in the North. And indeed, our overall Strategy for the North, as well as our investments on the occasion of the International Polar Year, will sharply focus on the sustainable development of our three Territories and the preservation of the North’s fragile ecosystem, which is so affected by the negative impacts of climate change.
Speaking of climate change, the Government of Canada is currently implementing a number of major initiatives to get Canada’s Climate Change Plan up and running on the ground. Over the course of the summer, a clear description of the proposed Large Final Emitters system was published. Draft regulations setting out the key elements of this system are planned for release before the end of this year. On September 3, the proposed addition of the six greenhouse gases to Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act was published in the Canada Gazette Part 1. This is an important and necessary step in the development of regulations that will cover large industries that are being required to meet the 45 megatonne reduction target set out in Canada’s Climate Change Plan.
In August, we released a proposed set of rules for an offset credit system. This system will award credits to large and small industries, technology companies, municipalities, farmers, foresters, and individual Canadians who achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions. The system will also create a market allowing these individuals, industries and organizations to sell their credits, which is an efficient way to get the maximum emissions reductions at the lowest cost. Cross-country consultations on this proposed set of rules are taking place this fall.
We are working hard to ensure that the Climate Fund will start operations beginning next year. Acting as a sort of investment bank, it will purchase reductions in greenhouse gas emissions resulting from tangible projects. For Canadians, opportunities will be available in all sectors of the economy.
Examples of who could benefit from this fund include: forestry companies that engage in state-of-the-art forest management practices; farmers who adopt low-till practices; property developers who include district heating and renewable energy elements in their plans for new sub-divisions; businesses that develop innovative ways to reduce emissions through recycling and energy efficiency; companies and municipalities that invest in their communities to encourage alternative transportation modes; municipalities that capture landfill gas and use it to generate electricity; or courier companies that retrofit their fleets.
I am convinced that this market-based approach will be critical to integrating climate change considerations into the day-to-day decisions of Canada’s citizens and businesses, and unleashing the power of innovation for the good of our environment and our economy.
Our businesses will benefit from this opportunity to develop their expertise in the fields of environmental technologies and services and to deploy them around the world. B.C. businesses especially will be well placed to seize the opportunity created by our Climate Change Plan to win new market shares in emerging economies and economies in transition, such as China. The reductions of greenhouse gas emissions that Canada will make abroad will help us to honour our Kyoto commitment.
Consultations have also begun with the provinces and territories to identify strategic new technologies (such as fuel cell buses) and infrastructure projects for cost sharing through the Partnership Fund. I was just talking about this yesterday with my B.C. counterpart, Barry Penner. The first projects under the Fund are expected to be announced before the end of 2005.
If we add to all this our initiative for renewable energies, our targeted programs and fiscal incentives for environmental technologies and the transportation sector, our home retrofit incentives, our purchasing strategy for a greener government, our outreach strategies to involve Canadians, one can see how much our Climate Change Plan is, at the same time, a business strategy for Canada that will generate beneficial investments across the economy.
But since Canada is responsible for only two percent of the human-made greenhouse gas emissions, its effectiveness in reducing emissions will depend on the effectiveness of the international regime. This is precisely why, as the Government of Canada moves forward on implementing our Climate Change Plan, it is also preparing to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Montreal, November 28-December 9, 2005. Our goal will be twofold: improving the functioning of the current Kyoto mechanisms, and convincing the nations of the world of the need to find new ways to increase international cooperation on this issue over the coming years.
Convincing the world nations to increase international cooperation is an ambitious task, considering the opposing views about the form this cooperation should take. Inspired by the leadership of our Prime Minister, we are sparing no effort in preparing this important Conference with conviction and determination. Canada will need a strong B.C. presence in Montreal, so please show up in force. Bienvenue à Montréal!
As you see, our agendas for air, water, nature, contaminated sites and climate change will provide enormous benefits, especially when measured against the considerable costs of inaction. But these sound policies will only yield their full potential if they are linked by an improved decision making process, a framework for competitiveness and environmental sustainability.
To this end, the Prime Minister announced in the last Throne Speech that, from now on, “the Government will work with its partners to build sustainable development systematically into decision making.” The Prime Minister created the Ad Hoc Committee of Cabinet on Sustainability and the Environment and appointed as its Chair the astute BC businessman, David Emerson. Our Liberal Caucus mirrored this initiative with the Liberal Caucus Economic and Sustainability Policy Committee.
For some time, we have been working with the provinces and territories to renew and improve how we deal with shared environmental priorities. Our work is now solidifying in the form of an agreement that will strengthen our collective and respective capacities to address our shared environmental challenges.
Our government will also consolidate the federal environmental assessment process in order to make it more timely, responsive and effective. Finally, for a better consultation process with the industry and the ENGOs, we are putting in place Sector Sustainability Tables, beginning with the areas of chemicals, forestry, mining and energy. This measure will create more cohesion and certainty in the way we carry out environmental management in Canada.
Yes, British Columbia and our country as a whole need Project Green, this broad environmental vision that links Canada’s economic competitiveness and prosperity to a sustainable future. The policies and programs under Project Green address environmental challenges for the 21st century.
Project Green: a far-reaching set of measures to improve our energy efficiency and our waste management practices, improve the environmental performance of our industrial sectors, conserve our biodiversity, protect our water, clean up contaminated sites, ensure cleaner and healthier air and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Through Project Green, which we will continue to deploy and expand in the coming years, Canada can set an international example by developing effective, model solutions for the long-term health of the planet.
We need to become a world leader in environmental technologies, in energy efficiency, in resource productivity and in conservation. We have been a champion of all the previous Industrial Revolutions, from the invention of the steam engine to the knowledge economy. We will not miss the new industrial revolution, the one of the sustainable economy. All of us - governments, industry, NGOs, citizens - need to work harder for a greener Canada. We owe this to ourselves, our children and the generations to come.


Address to the Canadian Club of Calgary (May 12, 2006)

Michael Ignatieff
Address to the Canadian Club of Calgary
May 12th, 2006

It’s good to be back in Alberta.

I taught creative writing at the Banff School of Fine Arts for three years in the 1990’s. I
wrote a book in the library there. I love that institution, and I loved the Alberta that I explored with my kids.

The Banff School shows what a great national institution you can create when the federal
and provincial governments work together, when leaders like Peter Lougheed understand the central importance of investing in our best and brightest creators.

I loved Banff also because I heard – and spoke – French everywhere: on the paths through the Rocky Mountains and in the rehearsal halls of the Centre. Alberta attracts many Quebecers every year, but, we must not forget the Franco-Albertans who established roots here centuries ago. We must always remember that the first languages spoken in Alberta were Aboriginal, and then, French.

Yes, the West has a proud French tradition and always will.

My connections to Alberta go back to my favorite uncle. His name was Dima. He was 6
foot 6 and he homesteaded in the Peace River country in the early 30’s, then took his degree in soil science at the U of A and finally, as the Second World War approached, signed on with a great outfit—the Calgary Highlanders. He fought with them side by side from Salerno to Berlin. He taught me that Albertans were tough and resourceful. They were—and are -- good people to be with in a foxhole.

As you know, I’m a candidate for the leadership of the party that does its best to keep
elections competitive in this province. I’m sure Albertans are going to tire of single party rule. They want a choice, and I want to salute those hardy souls, the Alberta Liberals who
courageously present Albertans with that choice.

I do believe we can be competitive in this province. Stranger things have happened.

If Stephen Harper can be competitive in Quebec, why can’t Michael Ignatieff be
competitive in Alberta?

When parties have a monopoly, they get arrogant. They get lazy. They stop listening. The fact that Conservatives have a monopoly in this province is a challenge for Liberals. But I also believe it’s an opportunity.

Look at what Anne McLellan did for the province. If you’re the sole Liberal, you have to
deliver, and she delivered: incentives for the gas sector, assistance for multicultural communities, funding for the arts and museums. Anne proved that Liberals can work twice as hard for Alberta.

My party does need to work twice as hard in Alberta. We don’t deserve to call ourselves
a national institution unless we win back seats in this province.

We can’t win unless we listen up.

Our party needs to understand the mistakes we’ve made in the past.

Too often we have appeared to work against Alberta’s energy sector, when we need to
work with it as a partner.

Too often we’ve appeared to want to punish Alberta for its success, when we need to
work together to make Alberta—and Canada—more successful still.

Too often, we’ve appeared to be hostile to the qualities that Albertans love:
entrepreneurship, freedom to take risks, and the freedom that comes from taking responsibility for yourself and your family.

The Liberalism I believe in values freedom balanced with responsibility wants to invest in
risk-taking and seeks to reward entrepreneurship.

I spent 16 years as a free-lance writer, broadcaster and war correspondent. I know what it
is like to gamble, to take risks, to live without a safety net and to reap the rewards that come when you bet the store on a good idea.

Today I want to set out my ideas for Alberta’s place in the federation.

When I taught out at UBC in Vancouver, I learned you can’t think of running Canada
from Ottawa—or Toronto, for that matter.

The goal of federal policy should be a strong federation.

A strong federation means a clear division of labour between orders of government;
provinces doing their jobs, Ottawa doing its job: defense, foreign affairs, the promotion of a national economic space, and the preservation of what I have called a spine of equal citizenship from coast to coast to coast.

The essential purpose of federal authority is to work with the provinces to guarantee that
all Canadians have equal rights, equal responsibilities, equal opportunities, and roughly equal services. Without that spine of citizenship, and the sense of belonging that goes with it, Canada wouldn’t be Canada: it would just be a string of provinces strung out along the 49th parallel.

Health care belongs to that spine of citizenship. Albertans, like all Canadians, believe that
Canadian citizenship implies equal access to quality health care paid for out of general taxation. Yet each province is bound to experiment about how to best balance the imperatives of equal access and cost control. The federal government can’t enforce equality with a big stick, certainly not against Alberta. The right role for the federal government is to be a clearing house of best practice helping provinces to share information on how to deliver quality care while containing costs, helping provinces to improve connectivity between their health information systems, so that we get better at measuring what actually works, helping provinces to ensure genuine portability of benefits for all Canadians.

Equality of citizenship is a value that Albertans believe in, whether it means Canada
pensions for our seniors, child benefit for families with children, the panoply of policies that seek to equalize opportunity for all Canadians. Albertans also want to keep faith with the constitutional commitment to equalization between Canada’s regions. The problem is: nobody agrees what we are equalizing: what should count in measuring the fiscal capacity of the provinces. And nobody wants to penalize provinces—whether in Atlantic Canada or in Alberta— for their success in securing revenues from non-renewable resources. So we need a conversation—patient, detailed and honest —about how to re-invent our fiscal relationship — that is transparent and makes sense—to Canadians.

These are the elements of a strong federation: a spine of common citizenship, a federal
government that focuses on what is truly national and provinces that focus on what is truly

A strong federation means a strong Alberta, an Alberta that leads Canada where we want
it to go.

One obvious place for working together is in the environment.

Albertans, like all Canadians, share a deep concern for the environment, and are uneasily
aware that we haven’t done all that we could.

We don’t need to have Chicken Little policies. We shouldn’t make public policy by going
around shouting "The Sky is falling! The Sky is falling!”

Still, the facts about global climate change are increasingly clear, and what is also clear is
that Albertans, like Canadians, are seeking leadership to make the necessary choices.

These are not choices which require us—as the Conservatives appear to think—to
sacrifice our economy on the altar of environmental political correctness. The choice is to seize the economic opportunities that emerge when we display environmental leadership.

Albertans don’t just want to have the world’s most profitable oil and natural gas
industries. You want a sector that protects our climate by reducing carbon emissions, that protects our air quality, that preserves precious fresh water and creates jobs right here in Alberta and across the country.

You know that sustainability is the key to maintaining energy leadership. Proven reserves
won’t last forever. Sustaining Alberta’s wealth depends on building environmental and resource sustainability into your growth.

Albertans are already leading in environmental research. The Canada School of
Sustainable Energy is an initiative of three Alberta universities.

One of Canada’s national treasures—David Schindler—has developed his world-leading
environmental thinking at the U of A.

The Pembina Institute has done pioneering work on the challenges that Alberta faces in
making wise use of water. Their reports show that the tar sands consume more water than
Calgary’s population every year. The balance between industry, farming and domestic use is becoming harder to maintain.

Moreover, few provinces face greater potential challenges from global warming. Anyone
with a historical memory does not want southern Alberta to become a dust bowl again.

The environmental challenge is one that Albertans and Canadians must work together to

Let’s set ourselves the goal of becoming world leaders, using smart federal policy,
imaginative science from our best universities, good public policy at the provincial level and leadership from our energy sector to become the smartest and most sustainable energy giant in the world. Working together, Alberta can become the international hub of expertise and application in clean energy systems.

The federal government has used fiscal incentives to stimulate the development and
exploration phase of the Alberta energy boom. The next challenge is to work with the energy sector and the Alberta government to align our fiscal incentives so that we promote CO2 sequestration, so that we offer incentives to less wasteful use of water in the tar sands, and we encourage technological innovation and new market opportunities. Let’s work with the industry to set escalating targets for reducing CO2 emissions.

We need to develop together a carbon management standard; so that the fossil fuel
industry takes responsibility for the fate of the carbon it extracts and stops releasing it into the atmosphere. This would require some regulation by government, but with maximum flexibility as to how emission targets would be realized. An emissions market should be created to allow carbon emitting industries to trade among themselves and form consortia to achieve aggregate limits as cheaply as possible.

Let’s use all the tools of government—fiscal incentives, grants, at the provincial and federal level to encourage renewable energy generation, zero-emission vehicles, and clean coal. This is another area where Alberta is a leader.

If Alberta and Canada can work together with industry to get clean coal to market
quickly, this will give us a large competitive advantage in China, where coal is bound to remain the key to meeting China’s energy needs in this century.

While we’re at it, why can’t Alberta and Canada work together to get biofuels to market
more rapidly? Biofuels holds huge promise: let’s seize these opportunities together so that the farm sector of our economy can contribute to environmental sustainability.

Reducing CO2 emissions in our energy sector;
Efficient economizing of industrial, farming and domestic use of water;
Rapid commercialization and expansion of the biofuels markets;
Rapid development of clean coal technology;

Here are four projects where if we combine smart regulation, the right fiscal incentives
and co-operation between the private and public sectors Alberta—and Canada—can lead the

A huge opportunity must not be missed: to move our energy industry up the value chain
where environmental sustainability and new market opportunity meet.

Environmental policy works best when we’re all in it together: this is where the federal
government can help provinces get us all on the same environmental page, so that no province is singled out, all Canadians work together so that we achieve common goals: an economy that wastes less energy, that gets more kilometers per litre of gasoline, more efficient electricity use, more diverse array of energy sources.

Of course, Alberta doesn’t need the Feds in order to show leadership. Just recently,
Alberta and BC signed an agreement, reducing barriers to mobility of workers, investment and goods between the two provinces. This is interprovincial collaboration at its best—indeed the federation working as it should. But the federal government can help, by investing in infrastructure like the Trans Canada Highway and the Pacific Gateway enhancement of the Ports in Vancouver and Prince Rupert. Already Calgary accounts for a substantial volume of the imports and exports flowing through the BC ports, and the federal government should invest in the national infrastructure to make this flow-through more efficient.

I’ve spent some time outside my country—and that seems to me to be an advantage, not a
liability. What I see from the outside is that we are a tremendous success and that we are enviably placed to meet the challenges of the 21st century. We are really capable of global leadership, if we have leaders who set global targets, who ask not: is this at Canada standard, but is this at world standard?

The targets I’m setting us are to be world leaders in sustainable energy development. We
must understand that we are stewards of the world commons, the climate and our biosphere, and global leadership means understanding this responsibility, and refusing false polarities that say we must either serve green goals or sacrifice our standard of living. Leadership means finding balanced solutions that move us steadily out of the raw export of energy to high value energy products that set the world standard for environmental sustainability

But it’s not enough to set targets for world class leadership. It’s also vital for us to put our
quarrels behind us. The world’s question about Canada is why we waste so much time in federal- provincial disputes, why regions fight each other, why mutual suspicion and paranoia so often frustrate our capacity for global leadership. Let’s put this behind us. Let’s work together. Alberta is quite simply one of the most exciting and dynamic places in the federation. Now is the time for Alberta to lead Canada to the forefront of environmental success. Private and public, federal, provincial and municipal: let’s work together to be world leaders.

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