On Environment Week, Government of Canada missing in action

OTTAWA - Today is World Oceans Day, Canadian National Clean Air Day,
and both World Environment Week and Canadian Environment Week. Today the Green
Party of Canada is noting the sad irony that the first federal budget to be
tabled during Environment Week is also the weakest environmental budget in
recent history.

“Legislation requires the Government of
Canada to mark Environment Week. Apparently the Government feels their
obligation ends with an Environment Canada press release full of empty
platitudes,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party and MP for
Saanich-Gulf Islands. “This week’s federal budget certainly contained almost
nothing for the environment.”

The federal budget included funds to
extend the EcoEnergy Retrofit program, although only for one year, and to clean
up toxic materials at federal sites. Notably absent were any resources or plan
for Canada
to meet its emissions reduction obligations. Ironically, the budget contained
measures to deal with specific impacts – such as building a highway from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk to replace the ice roads that are
melting away – without acknowledging or dealing with the root cause: climate

“The environment was missing in the
budget, and on environmental issues the Government of Canada is missing in
action,” said Ms. May. “Perhaps we need new legislation that requires our
government to mark Environment Week with action, not just words.”

On World Oceans Day, the Green Party is
also restating the concerns it raised in May about endangered fish species like
the Bluefin Tuna. The Green Party is renewing its call for the Government of
Canada to respect the advice of its own scientific advisory panel and not put
the economic interests of fisheries ahead of the well-being of an entire


Kieran Green
Director of Communications