Healthy Ecosystems and Resource Conservation

We cannot justifiably separate resources from ecosystems. Canada's forests, water, minerals and energy resources make our economy run, but only as long as they are conserved and maintain their capacity to regenerate. The Green Party's plan will curb the unsustainable consumption of finite resources and help maintain healthy ecosystems and decent jobs.


As an intrinsic part of Canada, forests helped build our identity and economy before we were even called Canadians. Canada boasts 10 per cent of the world's forests and 30 per cent of the world's boreal forests. As difficult as it may seem to put a price tag on a forest, the value of Canada's boreal forest has been estimated at $3.7 trillion. But in many regions, kilometre after kilometre of tree stumps is what remains of this once great heritage. The Green Party understands that Canada's forests form the foundation of complex ecological systems performing important services that purify the air and water, prevent floods and erosion, and stabilize climate change. Large expanses of forest, especially old growth forests, must remain intact in order to maintain habitats and biodiversity. Industry leaders and conservation organizations understand that forests must be managed sustainably and have - as a first step - set up the Forest Stewardship Council recognizing the full economic, environmental and social benefits of forests. Meanwhile politicians have failed to provide the legislative support for greater protection.

Green Party MPs will work to:

  • Enact product stewardship legislation that would require wood producers to increase the life span of their products and to assume the full recycling and disposal costs of products.
  • Work with provinces, First Nations and the logging industry to create federal standards and best practices that ensure the sustainability of our forests.
  • Replace clear-cutting with selection logging and conserve old growth forest ecosystems.
  • In collaboration with the provinces and territories, pursue Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification of all forestry conditional upon compliance to its 10 principles on crown lands and encourage the same on private lands.
  • Promote alternatives to wood as sources of paper fibre, such as hemp and agricultural cellulose.
  • Renegotiate our trade agreements to restrict the export of raw logs and invest in value added forestry.
  • Promote the use of wood-waste to produce bio-fuels as well as co-generated steam and electricity.


Sadly, Canada wastes more water per capita than any other nation on Earth, except for the United States. Our homes and industries use more water than they should. Water pollution, notably the E. Coli tragedies of Walkerton and Kashechewan, is threatening Canadians' access to safe and clean drinking water. While Europe has considerably reduced its water consumption, Canadians continue to put a heavy strain on water infrastructures and drain our impressive freshwater reserves. Instead of turning Canada into a boiled-water-advisory country, we can protect our freshwater resources, curb our water wasting habits and relieve our municipal infrastructures.

Green Party MPs will work to:

  • Stop any and all bulk water exports by renegotiating or saying no to trade deals that allow corporations to strip our watersheds of freshwater and disrupt entire ecosystems.
  • Amend the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to enshrine the right of future Canadians to an ecological heritage that includes breathable air and drinkable water.
  • Restore ecosystem health to Canada's coastline and inland watersheds by funding improvements to municipal wastewater treatment systems, with particular emphasis on ensuring shoreline communities and industries stop dumping untreated waste into rivers, lakes and oceans.


Canada is a major international player in the mining industry. From South America to Southeast Asia, Canadian mining expertise is highly regarded. Unfortunately, more often than not, Canadian mining companies do not employ Canadian environmental and human rights standards abroad. From forced re-settlement of indigenous communities to the contamination of water, Canadian mining companies have perpetrated numerous human rights and environmental abuses. At home, the mining industry continues to plunder our ecosystems with little regard for the environmental waste and damage left behind. The Liberal government's answer has been to write up an inconsequential voluntary code of conduct for the industry. We believe Canadian companies must be held accountable for their international violations and change their environmental ways at home. We can implement legislation that will ensure corporate social responsibility.

Green Party MPs will work to:

  • Rescind all uranium-mining permits and prohibit the export of fissionable nuclear material.
  • Promote life-cycle product stewardship of metals to ensure that once mined, they remain in economic service for generations.
  • End all subsidies to the mining sector to ensure full-cost accounting.
  • Work with provinces, territories and industry to ensure that all mining operations are insured for environmental liabilities and have an adequate pre-funded plan for remediation when the mine closes.
  • Introduce and regulate the mining industry under an International Corporate Social Responsibility Act.


The world consumes about two barrels of oil for every new barrel it finds. Therefore, we not only need to find new sources of renewable energy to respect our Kyoto engagements, we also need to significantly reduce our energy consumption to avoid economic hardships. With decisive actions and meaningful legislation to back them up, we can stop pretending to end oil dependency and actually do it. The Green Party has the political will to achieve environmental and economic results.

Green Party MPs will work to:

  • End all federal subsidies to fossil fuel sectors and discontinue exploration, drilling and extraction in ecologically sensitive areas.
  • Coordinate with the provinces a $1.5 billion investment to build 10,000 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2010.
  • Redirect National Research Council and Industry Canada research and development programs towards renewable, alternative, and soft energy technologies that will reduce fossil fuel consumption and phase out nuclear power.
  • Expand existing and institute new energy conservation strategies as a cheaper alternative to new power plants.
  • Assist provincial governments in designing, implementing and monitoring improved energy efficiency programs, through the Office of Energy Efficiency.
  • Work with provinces to accelerate and to facilitate the connection of renewable systems to the electrical grid so as to add small suppliers of clean energy.
  • Amend clauses in trade agreements to enable Canada to protect natural resources and foster fair trade for clean energy technologies.
  • Improve Canadian energy security by implementing a plan to address the economic consequences of higher oil prices.
  • Increase capital cost allowances for green technology such as solar, geothermal, tidal and hydrogen fuel cell development.
  • Work with the provinces and municipalities to promote and support alternative energy initiatives such as sewage co-generation.