(*please note …this letter was converted from a .pdf document, excluding Party logo/graphics.)
# Liberal Party Response to Vancouver Island & Coast Conservation Society
Dear Ms. Goulay,
Thank you for taking the time to write to me with the Vancouver Island and Coast Conservation Society’s questions regarding your Five Point Conservation Plan for Canada.
A balanced approach that seeks to protect our environment while getting our resources to market and growing our economy is a goal that I, and the entire Liberal Caucus, greatly share. Unfortunately, the Harper Government has failed to demonstrate this balance, nor its commitment to Canadians, that there is a concern for the environment; and without public trust, Canada’s environmental assessment policies are becoming increasingly paralyzed.
In order to restore credibility to environmental assessments, a Liberal Government will offer a new, comprehensive, and fair process that:
• Restores robust oversight and thorough environmental assessments or areas under federal jurisdiction, while working collaboratively with First Nations communities and provincial and territorial governments.
• Ensures decisions are based on science, facts, and evidence, and serve the public’s interest.
• Provides ways for interested Canadians to express their views, and for experts to meaningfully participate in assessment processes.
• Requires project to include the best technologies available to reduce environmental impacts.
In addition to this process, the Liberal Party of Canada will conduct a review of the Harper Government’s changes to both the Fisheries Act and the Navigable Waters Protection Act and restore lost protections, while incorporating modern safeguards. We will also work to better protect Canada’s endangered species by: responding faster to scientific advice on listing species; meeting mandatory timelines for responding to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada’s recommendations; and complete robust species at risk recovery plans. By working collaboratively towards a system where federal environmental assessments of projects include an analysis of upstream impacts and the impact of greenhouse gas emissions, and where First Nations are treated as partners, we can restore Canadians faith that there is a concern for the environment.
As you point out, 2017 will mark the 150thAnniversary of Confederation, and in order to recognize this historic milestone, a Liberal Government will promote our National Parks by suspending admission fees for the year. Similarly, we will work towards preserving our National Parks by restricting development inside the park, and where possible, working with gateway communities outside the parks to grow their eco-tourism industries and create jobs. I am committed to making the sustainable economic development of gateway communities a stronger part of Parks Canada’s mandate, and reverse the Harper Government’s $25 million cuts to its programs and services, which undermined Canadians ability to experience our National Parks and learn more about our environment. In addition, Liberals will also finalize the creation of the country’s first urban National Park – Rouge National Park by working with the province of Ontario.
As part of the Liberal Party of Canada’s plan for Canada’s environment and the economy, a Liberal Government will also meet our international conservation targets for our freshwater and oceans, as protected marine areas are critical to protecting Canadian ecosystems, as well as our overall economic well-being. Not only do our marine and coastal areas help fish stocks recover and support eco-tourism, but they also protect our coastlines and at-risk species. That is why I am committed to protecting Canada’s marine and coastal areas from 1.3 percent to 5 percent by 2017, and ten percent by 2020. Liberals will also reverse the Harper Government’s $40 million cut from the federal government’s ocean science and monitoring programs, and the $1.5 million cut to freshwater research.
Thank you again for taking the time to write to me with the Vancouver Island and Coast Conservation Society’s questions regarding these important issues.
Justin P.J. Trudeau
Member of Parliament for Papineau
Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada