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Home Policy Articles: Environment & Climate: Page 2

In a country that is rich in natural resources, economic development and environmental stewardship are crucial in ensuring the land, water, and air are healthy for future generations. An important aspect of environmental policy is developing new practices to promote sustainable development, such as alternative fuels, recycling programs, and renewable energy resources. Not surprisingly, governments must respond to emerging environmental issues such as climate change and biotechnology, which often places key stakeholders and their interests at odds with one another.

This section is your guide to environmental policy in Canada.



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Leaders’ Roundtable on the Kyoto Protocol

In May 2002 the Public Policy Forum convened a roundtable of leaders from government, business, and the non-profit sector to discuss the federal government’s Discussion Paper on Canada’s Contribution to Addressing Climate Change. The purpose of the roundtable was to consider four options for Canada’s participation in the Kyoto Protocol, as proposed by the government paper: 1) a cap-and-trade emissions trading system; 2) targeted measures including regulation, best practices, and investments; 3) a mixed approach of emissions trading and targeted measures; and, 4) a modified mixed approach involving credits for clean energy exports. As the summary of discussion from the roundtable stresses, there is an important caveat to note about the comments expressed by participants, in that the majority of those accepting invitations to the roundtable were from the business sector.

Making Kyoto Work: A Transition Strategy for Energy Workers

In Making Kyoto Work: A Transition Strategy for Energy Workers, Dale Marshall, of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, considers how many energy sector jobs could be lost if Canada were to “get serious” about the Kyoto Protocol. Too often, Marshall argues, Kyoto commentators ignore the economic benefits of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

MetroWest II Conference Report: Focusing on the Future of Western Canada’s Cities

MetroWest II, by Casey Vander Ploeg, follows from the MetroWest II conference held in Winnipeg in October, 2002. The purpose of the conference was to bring together urban practicioners from Western Canada in order to identify and discuss issues confronting western cities.

Mission Possible: A Canadian Resources Strategy for the Boom and Beyond

In this report, Gilles Rheaume and John Roberts argue that Canada is well positioned to benefit from increased demand for resources in the global economy.

Mission Possible: Successful Canadian Cities

In this report, Natalie Brender, Marni Cappe, and Anne Golden begin with the premise that Canada’s prosperity depends on the success of its major cities.

Navigating the Shoals: Assessing Water Governance and Management in Canada

In this report, Jason Churchill, Greg Hoover, Al Howatson, and John Roberts assess the current institutions and incentives that govern Canada’s water management policy.

On Tap: Urban Water Issues in Canada

In this study, McFarlane and Nilsen explore urban water management issues facing Western Canada’s large cities; they provide an overview of Canadian water policy issues generally and urban water policy issues in particular.

Outcomes from the Stakeholder Session: The Citizens’ Forums on Personal Transportation, Energy Efficiency and Environmental Impacts

Starting with a basic assumption – that increased prices and demand for gasoline will lead to consumer demand for ways to reduce consumption and increase efficiency – the Public Policy Forum convened regional discussions with the Canadian driving public. These five Citizens’ Forums considered issues of fuel costs, conservation, energy efficiency, and the environmental impacts of driving, aiming to educate participants on options available to them.

Pelletized Biofuels - An Opportunity for Manitoba: Clean Green Heat from Grass Biofuel Pellets

This report argues that volatile energy markets, concerns over energy security, and international agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have created unique opportunities for biofuel development.

Performance and Potential 2004-05: How Can Canada Prosper in Tomorrow’s World?

This report examines some of the major developments the Conference Board believes will affect Canada’s economic, social and environmental performance in the years ahead. This report is one in a series of Key Findings from the Conference Board of Canada. The project director of this report is Charles Barrett.

Performance and Potential 2005-06: The World and Canada: Trends Reshaping Our Future

In this annual Special Report, the Conference Board of Canada (CBC) takes both a retrospective and prospective look at Canada and the critical factors that affect the quality of life of Canadians. The report emphasizes that Canada must develop significant trade relationships with those countries that have growing middle classes. The findings, however, are not positive, and the report suggests that Canada is a fading economic power. The report makes policy suggestions, and considers where future improvements could be made.

Playing off the Ports: BC and the Cruise Tourism Industry

In this report Ross Klein discusses the BC cruise tourism industry and suggests policies that would allow it to benefit more BC coastal communities.

Reconciling profits and sustainable development: Industrial waste recycling in market economies

According to Pierre Desrochers, some industrial waste recycling advocates believe in creating linkages between industries, where one firm’s waste becomes the valuable input of another.

Regulatory Frameworks for Natural Gas DSM in Canada: Exploring Design Options, Influences and Characteristics of Success

In this brief Discussion Paper Judy Simon explores options for natural gas demand-side management (DSM) regulatory frameworks. As Simon explains, DSM requires companies to take steps to help customers reduce their demand for energy through means such as replacing older technologies; improving insulation; exceeding minimum energy efficiency requirements; and, consumer education. Simon expresses her belief that if the definition of DSM is widened from simply reducing natural gas use to a consideration of overall energy use, then conservation would be more efficient.

Responsible Action – Citizens’ Dialogue on the Long-term Management of Used

This paper represents the results of a Citizens’ Dialogue, undertaken by the CPRN to determine how citizens think nuclear fuel should be managed. The Dialogue took place in early 2004, with 462 Canadians participating. Dialogue participants were presented with four scenarios, each representing a plausible view that could be held by a segment of society. They could then choose one scenario, use elements of more than one, or identify their own new ideas. From the responses, the authors were able to determine citizens’ ‘guiding values’ with respect to managing used nuclear fuel.

Righting Past Wrongs: The Case for a Federal Role in Decommissioning and Reclaiming Abandoned Uranium Mines in Northern Saskatchewan

In this article Ian Peach and Don Hovdebo discuss a project designed to reclaim the land surrounding abandoned uranium mines in northern Saskatchewan. They consider the international precedent set in reclamation and how this project could also help to strengthen the current uranium mining industry.

Securing our Energy Future? A Review of Nova Scotia's Energy Sector in 2004

In this report Larry Hughes reviews the major events in Nova Scotia’s energy sector in 2004.

Selling the Family Silver: Oil and Gas Royalties, Corporate Profits, and the Disregarded Public

In this paper John W. Warnock explores the development of oil and gas sector, both in Canada and globally, and the geopolitics of oil. Specifically, the author discusses the environmental costs and the fiscal and royalty structures for economic rents to the public that owns the resource.

Sustainability and Energy Security: The Squeeze on Natural Gas

This briefing, written by Hoover, examines the factors that give rise to increases in natural gas prices. In particular, the authors look at how U.S. air quality standards have heightened the demand for cleaner-burning natural gas at a pace greater than for other primary energy sources. At the same time, Hoover et. al. point out that other concerns, including the environment, are restricting the ability of energy providers to satisfy that demand in the short term.

Sustainable Development Framework for Science and Technology: Social and Cultural Dimensions

Sherri Torjman and David Minns describe the main elements of a sustainable development research framework for science and technology.

Taking Out the Trash: How to Allocate the Costs Fairly

Marla Kelleher, Janet Robins, John Dixie discuss the implementation of user fees for waste removal services. This concept has been put into use in 200 communities in Canada and 6000 in the US. The authors argue that moving the cost of the service out of property tax bills and making costs visible will increase the consciousness of the consumers and encourage them to decrease the amount of waste they produce.

The Ambient Air Quality Accounts for the Nova Scotia Genuine Progress Index

This report by Anne Monette and Ronald Colman examines the ambient air concentrations of five air pollutants in Nova Scotia and the costs of damages caused by these emissions. The pollutants considered are: carbon monoxide, total particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds. The levels found in Nova Scotia are compared to that of Canada as a whole and human health costs and environmental damage are examined at the provincial level. Finally, actions for individuals and governments are suggested in the interests of reducing emissions in the future.

The British Columbia Regional Citizens’ Forum on Clean Air The Public’s Voice II: One Year Later

This report by David Brook provides an analysis of the pre- and post-surveys conducted as part of the British Columbia Regional Citizens’ Forum on Clean Air. Brook suggests there are two main interests in conducting a follow-up survey such as this: to look at the longer term impacts of the Citizens’ Forum on participants, and to compare the results of this analysis to those of a control group in order to test the nature of these long term impacts.

The Canadian Community Monitoring Network

In this community story Anne Makhoul describes how Environment Canada and the Canadian Nature Federation partnered to facilitate the development of a Canadian Community Monitoring Network.

The Democratic Content of Intergovernmental Agreements in Canada

Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs), the key instruments of executive federalism have been the source of considerable controversy. They are criticized by some for being undemocratic in nature and praised by others as the best means of ensuring cooperation on policy matters between the federal and provincial governments.

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