In response to the “2011 October Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development”, Gillian McEachern, Program Manager of Climate and Energy for Environmental Defence, has responded:
“The Commissioner’s report provides yet more evidence that the federal government is failing to meet its responsibility to limit the impacts of tar sands development on our air, water and species. Gaining a better understanding of the impacts through improved monitoring is the first step, and we agree that the federal government must act now to implement the new monitoring program that has been developed.
Yet monitoring is not the same as acting to regulate the impacts. To see real change, the government needs to set and enforce limits on air, water and carbon pollution and destruction of habitat. However, even in cases where there is a wealth of information on the impact of tar sands – such as carbon emissions and woodland caribou – there has been no meaningful action. Minister Kent has once again delayed the introduction of new rules to reduce carbon pollution and put forward a recovery strategy for caribou that does nothing to protect their habitat in the tar sands region.
The Commissioner also found that the federal government still has no credible plan to tackle climate change. Today, the European Union identified tar sands oil as more polluting than conventional oil, yet the federal government continues to drag its feet in regulating big industries like the tar sands. (1)
With the controversy over tar sands building in the US and Europe, the world is watching Canada. The federal government can’t continue to say one thing abroad and do nothing at home.”
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