With the federal election fast approaching people are wondering where the political parties stand on certain issues. With the environment top of mind for many, organizations got together to survey Canada's parties on environmental issues but two parties dodged the questions. It's safe to say that climate action in Canada's federal election is heating up.
Environmental organizations like Environmental Defence and Greenpeace Canada put together a non-partisan survey for the political parties that represents the collective priorities of all 14 environmental organizations involved to help Canadians make informed decisions when they vote in the federal election.
The survey was sent to all six political parties vying for power in the upcoming federal election. The survey has 10 questions that are about environmental protection, economic justice and human rights issues.
But not everyone was on board. The Conservatives gave a blanket statement instead of actually answering all the questions and the People's Party of Canada didn't even respond to the survey.
"It would be best to see full answers from all the parties to these questions so that Canadians can fully evaluate each party’s intentions in terms of protecting the environment," Tim Gray, executive director of Environmental Defence, told Narcity.
The questions ranged from reducing emissions to protecting land and freshwater to protecting Indigenous rights.
Because of how the Conservatives responded, not answering the questions individually and not committing to specific environmental priorities, the party is shown as answering "no" to all of the questions.
Besides the People's Party of Canada, all the other parties answered each question in the survey.
For a lot of questions, the four parties answered similiarly.
The Liberals, NDP, Greens and Bloc Québécois all answred yes when asked if the party would ensure that "federally protected lands, freshwater and oceans are managed to the highest international standards for ecological integrity."
The four parties also said that they would uphold the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and protect Indigenous and treaty rights.
And they would all "immediately legislate a climate plan that will reduce Canada’s emissions in line with keeping warming below 1.5°C."
When asked if the party will "champion a connected and representative protected areas network of at least 30 per cent of land, freshwater and oceans by 2030", the Liberals, Greens and NDP said yes but the Bloc Québécois said that "unilateral action from Ottawa is inappropriate because it would not respect the Quebec nation or Indigenous nations."
"There is still time to chart a course to a safe future for all - but only if we act urgently to uphold environmental protection, economic justice and human rights," said Gray.
In the Conservative response to the survey, the party said it will focus on green technology instead of taxes.
The response also said that climate action in Canada could decrease the country's competitiveness globally and mean that economic activity would move to areas that have lower standards and "then we might actually be increasing global emissions while hurting ourselves."
Despite the lack of response from the People's Party of Canada and the singular statement from the Conservative Party, Gray believes that the survey still shows that parties are taking environmental action seriously.
"This reflects the urgency and importance that action to protect the environment has for Canadians," said Gray.
To see how the parties responded to each question, go here.