42. Environmental Principles
i) In order to have a strong economy and maintain good health, Canada must have strong, coordinated and achievable environmental policies. A Conservative Government believes responsible exploration, development, conservation and renewal of our environment is vital to our continued well-being as a nation and as individuals. A Conservative Government will ensure that the sometimes competing values of preserving the environment and creating jobs are maintained in proper balance.
ii) A Conservative Government will:
a) initiate a review of all environment and energy initiatives, including the Kyoto Accord;
b) adopt a new approach for an environmental strategy at the international level;
c) create a program to heighten public awareness to the economic benefits of environmental solutions minimizing the wasting of resources; and
d) establish a program of tax credits to promote environmental solutions in the areas of transportation and entrepreneurial innovation, among others.
43. Clean Air
A Conservative Government will legislate caps on smog causing pollutants like nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2), and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). We will negotiate power plant and smokestack emissions limits with the United States and the northern border states. Within Canada we will also investigate a cap-and-trade system that will allow firms to generate credits by reducing smog-causing pollutants.
44. Alternative Energy and Transitional Fuels
The Conservative Party believes in promotion of alternative energy (such as wind, solar, geothermal) and transitional fuels (such as biodiesel, ethanol, natural gas) to help develop hydrogen as a fuel. The expense of assuring the security of traditional fuel sources and concerns over pollution makes the use of these energy sources necessary.
45. Contaminated Sites
In cooperation with the provinces, territories and municipalities, a Conservative Government will determine how many federal contaminated sites are in Canada, rank them according to the threats they pose, and provide stable long-term funding to for cleanup.
A Conservative Government will remove roadblocks that discourage the private sector from cleaning and developing contaminated land:
i) Amend the Income Tax Act to allow remediation expenses to be treated as a deductible expense;
ii) Introduce legislation to terminate regulatory liability upon issuance of regulatory approval of remediation to encourage development of brownfields, reversible only in emergency and in cases of fraud;
iii) Create an insurance fund for post liability insurance claims. This will permit the quantification and spreading of development risk through insurance, reinsurance and diversification of ownership; and
iv) Provide economic incentives to the private sector to clean up contaminated lands.
46. Offshore Oil and Gas Development
A Conservative Government will promote exploration and environmental assessment of offshore natural resources on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, in cooperation with the provinces, affected First Nations, private industry and other relevant scientific and environmental groups. We will ensure that companies follow best practices and the precautionary principle to mitigate environmental risk, allow for arms-length regulatory processes to ensure safe and environmentally responsible practices prior to development of these natural resources, and consider the potential of these natural resources before designating new Marine Protected Areas.
47. Water - Great Lakes
A Conservative Government will work with the United States to provide a clear federal plan of action to address critical threats to the sustainability of our shared resource, the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Basin. Our government will provide adequate funding to fulfill its commitment to this region, which is home to 16 million Canadians and is a crucial source of clean air, drinking water, food, shelter, health, employment and recreation, as well as Canada’s highest concentration of industry. We will establish long-term outcomes; translate them into real plans for the basin; apply a consistent basin-wide approach for issues that span the entire basin; clarify responsibilities of federal and provincial governments; and recognize constitutional authority of the provinces.
48. Illegal Oil Dumping
i) A Conservative Government will expand oil-dumping detection; prohibit ships from entering sensitive sea areas; legislate ship operators to account for their ships’ waste; and offer incentives to dump waste at our port facilities, not in our waters.
ii) A Conservative Government will massively increase fines for illegal oil dumping, a practice that kills hundreds of thousands of sea birds every year along Canada’s coastlines. This problem is encouraged by current Canadian laws that make profitable the practice of dumping oil in the ocean instead of disposing of it legally at a port. Ship operators caught illegally dumping oil will face criminal charges and be prevented from plying Canadian waters.
49. Aquifer Mapping
A Conservative Government will develop a long-term plan in cooperation with the provinces and territories to create an inventory that could define significant and key aquifers and establish policy to protect the quality and sustainability of Canada’s major aquifers. Currently, there is no clarity on the quality, sustainability or number of Canada’s aquifers – the geologic units capable of containing a usable amount of groundwater. With the threat of groundwater resources becoming depleted in Canada we will face increasing need to understand the extent and replenishment of aquifers.
50. Aquatic Invasive Species
A Conservative Government, in cooperation with local, provincial and international governments, will make mandatory the existing voluntary guidelines for ballast water management practices and enforce compliance for all ships carrying ballast water. We will ensure all ships plying Canadian waters built after a set date have proper ballast water treatment technology and implement economic incentives, which will see ship owners and operators rewarded for improved ballast water treatment practices. Such measures will address the introduction and spread of aquatic alien invasive species that severely impairs biological integrity and threatens the economies of water-dependent communities in Canada. They will also alleviate the costs for treatment, containment and control of these invasive species, which are massive and generally borne by local communities, rather than the industries that contribute to the problem.