Eco-survey 2011 shows voters what political parties would do to protect the environment

Four parties respond to survey and one doesn't

OTTAWA, April 18 /CNW/ - All but one of the main federal political parties have responded to a survey from four of Canada's leading environmental organizations, released today. With exactly two weeks to go in the federal election campaign, the survey identifies the environmental commitments made by the Liberal Party, the NDP, the Bloc Québecois and the Green Party. The Conservative Party did not respond to the survey, which was coordinated by Environmental Defence, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), the Pembina Institute and Équiterre.

"The good news is that there is a fair degree of common ground among the parties that responded on issues that matter to voters, like tackling global warming and getting toxic bisphenol A out of our food cans," said Gillian McEachern of Environmental Defence. "We're disappointed that the Conservative Party did not choose to give voters information on where they stand on these issues."

The survey included questions on the protection of Canada's lands and water, clean energy, climate change, oil sands and toxic chemicals in consumer products.

"We're pleased that all of the parties have made commitments to wilderness conservation, both on land and in our oceans, and we're urging our supporters to raise this issue with candidates in their ridings when they come to their doors," said Alison Woodley of CPAWS.

Out of 10 questions about whether the parties would take action on key issues, the Green Party and NDP answered yes to all 10, the Liberals to nine and the Bloc to eight. Some highlights from the parties' responses include:

  • All parties committed to adopting a legally binding ban on tankers off Canada's Pacific Northwest coast.
  • All parties committed to putting a price on greenhouse gas pollution in 2012 and boosting federal support for green energy, although the details of specific proposals vary by party.
  • All parties committed to creating more marine protected areas.
  • All parties supported stronger regulations to prohibit the use of potentially harmful chemicals in consumer items, including banning bisphenol A from food cans within 18 months.

"The respondents' commitment to put a price on greenhouse gas pollution is an important one, since this policy would need to be a centerpiece of any effective climate plan for Canada," said Clare Demerse of the Pembina Institute. "It's also encouraging to see support from all four of the respondents for a stronger effort to ensure that the federal government lives up to its responsibilities to curb the environmental impacts of oilsands development."

"We're happy to see that most parties are willing to make commitments to tackle climate change and to promote the green economy. Unfortunately, the Conservative Party refused to answer and to give information to Canadians on their intentions to protect the environment, even though it is an important issue for Canadians," said Steven Guilbeault of Équiterre.

The full bilingual survey results can be found at www.ecoquestions2011.ca. The groups will be sharing the results with more than 150,000 of their supporters directly via email.

SOURCE Environmental Defence

For further information:

For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Stephanie Kohls, Environmental Defence - 416-323-9521 etc. 232, 647-280-9521 (cell), skohls@environmentaldefence.ca
Ellen Adelberg , CPAWS - 613-569-7226 x 234
Clare Demerse, Pembina Institute - 613-762-7449, clared@pembina.org
Éveline Trudel-Fugère, Équiterre - 514-605-2000, etfugere@equiterre.org


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