April 18, 2011 12:08 pm

All parties show consensus on carbon pricing, except Tories: survey


OTTAWA – A new survey shows that all the main political parties except the Conservatives are committed to setting a price on greenhouse gas pollution – which environmentalists say is crucial in fighting climate change.

The survey by some of the country’s largest environmental groups asked each party about their green policies.

The Liberals, NDP, Bloc Quebecois and Green party all favour either a cap-and-trade system that would create a market for emissions credits or imposing a tax on carbon.

The Conservatives generally do not respond to such surveys and this one is no exception.

But their position on pricing emissions is well known. They have rejected both a carbon tax and a cap-and-trade system for now, saying Canada would lose its competitive advantage by acting before the United States does.

Instead, they want to regulate individual industries.

Overall, the survey shows consensus among the other parties over how to manage environmental concerns – although they often differ on speed and approach.

"The good news is that there is a fair degree of common ground among the parties that responded on issues that matter to voters, like tackling global warming and getting toxic bisphenol A out of our food cans," said Gillian McEachern, spokeswoman for Environmental Defence, which co-ordinated the survey.

They all want to ban tankers off the Pacific Northwest. They all want to create more marine protection areas. And they all want stronger regulations on harmful chemicals in consumer goods.

On the oil sands, they all want to reduce subsidies to the oil patch and find ways to reclaim tailings ponds. The exception is the Bloc, which believes the federal government should not intervene in an area of provincial jurisdiction.

Still, no party except the Greens has put environmental policy on the front burner during the campaign for the May 2 election. And even the Greens have tended to emphasize the other parts of their platform in an attempt to appeal more broadly to the electorate.

Report an error


Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.