“Sustainability experts laud early initiatives to expand park land and control toxic substances, but say the most recent budget is an international embarrassment.”
Excellent! Translated from antidevelopment, misanthropic enviro-speak that means this government are pro-human, pro-development. Best of all, Maurice Strong hates it. What higher accolade could they seek?
Experts on sustainable development say the majority governing Conservatives made significant strides on conservation and banning toxic substances during their five years of minority rule, but the Tories are now abandoning environmental efforts altogether, and some fear the most recent federal budget’s focus on development over the environment risks further damaging Canada’s international reputation.
“Canada has custody over one of the largest environments in the world. It’s resource rich, and that gives us a special responsibility—one which this government is not exercising,” Maurice Strong told The Hill Times last week. “It’s very discouraging, and we’re going to pay a very heavy price for the policies of this government.”
Mr. Strong has represented Canada internationally in a variety of capacities over the past 50 years, beginning with his tenure as deputy minister for External Aid—now CIDA—in the early 1960s and served as Petro-Canada’s first chair after it was established in 1975. He is credited with convening one of the largest summits of world leaders in history, as secretary general of the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
Policy makers from throughout the international community will reconvene to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Earth Summit and hold talks on developing the green economy next month in Rio. Mr. Strong, who is an honorary professor at Beijing’s Peking University and today advises the Chinese government on sustainable development, was in Ottawa last week to speak at a Rio +20 planning event organized by economic think-tank Sustainable Prosperity.
Mr. Strong, who turned 83 last week, did not mince words in criticizing what is increasingly seen as anti-environmental policies by the federal government.
“It has been the most anti-environmental government that we’ve ever had, and one of the most anti-environmental governments in the world,” Mr. Strong lamented.