FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, May 24, 2017
EAC encouraged by environmental commitments in election
At the forefront of their platform is support for implementation of an “Environmental Bill of Rights that will give Nova Scotians a greater say in decisions that impact their environment”. As an active member of the coalition calling for this legislation, the EAC is pleased to hear that it is being given serious consideration in the election and encourage all parties to support this important legislative initiative.
“In the past it has been vulnerable communities that have got stuck with leaking landfills or polluting industries”, says Mark Butler, Policy Director.” An environmental bill of rights would better protect all Nova Scotians as well as make some obvious improvements, such as putting all environmental approvals online.”
The NDP platform also touches on the identified EAC election priorities, which include a call for coastal and wilderness protection, firm climate change targets, and a $7 million per year investment in active transportation.
“Five years ago the provincial government promised to reduce clearcutting levels to no more than 50% of all harvesting within five years” says EAC Wilderness Coordinator Raymond Plourde. “Today clearcutting levels are 89% and rising.” The NDP commitment to get back to making that well-established goal, set through a massive, highly-credible public policy process is excellent and exactly what’s needed.”
“While not outlined in the platform, the NDP have committed to working with stakeholders to establish a Coastal Protection Act” says Samantha Page, Coastal Adaptation Coordinator. “Given that the last NDP government did substantial work towards developing a coastal strategy for Nova Scotia, that ultimately went nowhere, it’s encouraging to see the party re-commit to this important work.”
“The NDP have identified working with municipalities on active transportation as a priority and have committed $12 million a year to sustainable transportation initiatives, which includes transit projects” says Eliza Jackson, EAC Sustainable Transportation Coordinator. “While this certainly is a welcomed commitment, transit projects often have a large price tag that could consume most of that budget. It is crucial for whichever party forms government to set aside dedicated funding to infrastructure for walking and cycling to match investments being made at the federal and municipal level.”
“It’s encouraging to see commitments to a continued ban on fracking, support for renewables and plans toward a carbon-neutral government” said Stephen Thomas, EAC Energy Campaign Coordinator “With that said, firm, legislated targets on reducing provincial greenhouse gas emissions are critical.” The NDP’s platform disappointingly stops short of committing to science-based emissions reductions targets, but takes a step in the right direction by committing to confirming a target within the first year should they form government.
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For further information, please contact:
Sustainable Transportation Coordinator
Coastal Adaptation Coordinator
Energy Campaign Coordinator