Harper Conservatives don’t respond to Cedar group’s ‘conservation questions’

gGt responses from three out of five federal political leaders

The Vancouver Island & Coast Conservation Society, based in Cedar, got responses from three out of five federal political leaders to a set of ‘conservation questions’ aimed at committing them to “integrating conservation in plans for Canada’s future growth and prosperity.”

Leaders of the New Democratic Party of Canada, the Liberal Party of Canada and the Green Party of Canada responded to the VICCS survey; the Conservative Party of Canada did not respond at all, and the Bloc Quebecois deferred.

“We’re exceptionally pleased with the support and commitment expressed for conservation initiatives by three of the Federal Parties,” said Laurie Gourlay, president of VICCS.

“Generally – and I’m quoting directly from the replies we received – the Party Leaders expressed support for a ‘balanced approach that would protect our lands, waters, and natural resources for the health and economy of this, and future, generations.’”

VICCS said the leaders’ responses indicate ‘serious attention to conservation and sustainable development’ if the NDP, Liberals or Greens either form government, or hold the balance of power after the federal election this fall.

“Canadians should have a look at the results of our Conservation questions and make up their own minds,” said Gourlay.

VICCS said the leaders’ replies suggest there is support for:

• A Canadian Conservation Commission (Green, NDP);

• A declaration of December 11 as ‘A Day For Our Common Future’, furthering sustainable development recommendations of the UN World Commission on Environment & Development  (Green, NDP);

• Accenting conservation and restoration of ecological systems as part of Confederation’s 150th anniversary celebrations in 2017(Green, NDP, Lib);

• meeting “our international conservation targets” and national commitments to land, coastal and marine protection (Green, NDP, Lib);

• Initiatives and engagement that will encourage individual involvement and sustainable community development (Green, NDP, Lib).

“We wanted to know if our Federal Leaders were committed to integrating conservation in plans for Canada’s future growth and prosperity,” said Gourlay. “And we are very pleased to see the priorities of the Greens, NDP and Liberals for conservation initiatives across the country.”

The leaders’ full replies to the questions, which were asked over a five week period, are posted at viccs.vcn.bc.ca.