Conservatives should look at the scientific evidence
Stephen Harper’s decision to reduce the number of departments and agencies that complete environmental reviews from 40 to just three is shortsighted and carries long-term consequences [“ Harper repeats Republican lines on energy”, April 19-26]. Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver argues that the government’s plan will hasten approvals for projects that will bolster Canada’s economy. Yes, development is crucial and jobs will be created, but to say we have to choose between the economy and the environment is a false dichotomy. The choice is economic development with or without environmental protection. A strong economy doesn’t require us to sacrifice our environmental and social strengths—they’re actually deeply intertwined.
Scientists and environmental experts can help us minimize the ecological impact of our development to preserve the planet for future generations. Companies need to perform their due diligence to minimize or reverse the damage their operations cause, and they will only do so when regulators require them to act responsibly. Furthermore, reviews from different provinces are critical, as these issues are transboundary and actually global.
As a science student, I feel we should embrace scientific findings and use quality research-based predictions to guide our economic development. Instead, the Conservatives’ consistent neglect of evidence and information is taking us backward. Clearly the environment is being regarded as an impediment.
> Tim Krupa / UBC Okanagan Young Liberals of Canada