December 13, 2002, VANCOUVER - The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) is pleased with the outcome of the House of Commons vote on the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. While some politicians opposed this environmental treaty, there was a majority vote of 195 to 77 in support of the federal government’s decision to ratify. Under the Kyoto Protocol, which our government signed in 1998, Canada has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 6% below 1990 levels.
"There really is nothing to debate when it comes to reducing greenhouse gases," says HSC Executive Director Michael O’Sullivan. "Either we significantly reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions or we face the consequences," continues O’Sullivan. "And it is now obvious that the consequences will significantly impact the global environment and its inhabitants. If anything, the Kyoto Protocol doesn’t go far enough or act quickly enough."
While some people argue that participating in this environmental treaty will cost jobs, and money, the real truth is that the Kyoto agreement will save jobs and money.
"A healthy environment will create a healthy economy," states Al Hickey, HSC Western Regional Director. "Global warming and increased pollution will be devastating for everyone and every thing. Not only will a healthier environment improve our quality of life, it will also drastically reduce health care costs," points out Hickey.
While the Humane Society of Canada is supportive of the actions taken to fulfill the Kyoto Protocol, they are critical of those countries that aren’t participating in this treaty. The Humane Society of Canada has also prepared a Kyoto Scorecard for the way in which politicians across Canada responded to the challenge of protecting future generations: "I think it's important that history record who cared about the safety and security of Canada and those who worked to oppose such safeguards," said O'Sullivan.
"We think much more needs to be done to save the planet than just the Kyoto agreement," says O’Sullivan. "But it’s a start. It’s a show of good faith. Those countries that opted out of Kyoto have no regard for the planet or the future generations of species who will have to live in a world beset with global warming.
Now that the Kyoto Protocol will be ratified, The Humane Society of Canada would like to see significant steps taken that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote greener energy sources and a wiser use of energy. A few important measures that, if implemented, would significantly help the environment include:
- Increase &improve mass transit - especially in urban centres;
- Increase & improve the railway system;
- Offer incentives for fuel efficient vehicles & penalize inefficient vehicles;
- Promote alternative energy sources that are better for the environment; offer rebates for purchasing and installing solar, wind and similar energy sources;
- Increase taxes for energy sources which aren’t environmentally friendly;
- Provide incentives for planting trees;
CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at www.humanesociety.com via twitter at www.twitter.com/HSCanada and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Humane-Society-of-Canada/211468055538280
[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.
A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]
The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.
The only organization of its kind, seven days a week, The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works across the street, across Canada and around the world helping people, animals and the environment.
The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) depends entirely on donations to support our programs to help animals and the environment. All donations are gratefully acknowledged with a receipt for income tax purposes. If you would like to support our educational campaigns that protect animals and the environment please make a donation here. Because when it comes to fighting cruelty and violence, we don’t give up. Ever.
- The federal Liberals under Jean Chrétien support the ratification of Kyoto. Paul Martin has spoken out in support; however, he would like to delay for a countrywide referendum. Both Ann McClellan and David Kilgour Liberal MPs for Alberta have publicly stated their support for Kyoto;
- The federal New Democratic Party supports Kyoto, and voted in favour of ratification;
- The Bloc Québecois also supports Kyoto and voted in favour of ratification;
- The Canadian Alliance, of all the federal parties, has been the most outspoken against the Kyoto Protocol and introduced a filibuster in an attempt to kill it’s passage through the Commons;
- The Progressive Conservative Party voted against ratifying the Protocol, they would like to delay in order to have more discussions;
- Ralph Klein (PC), Premier of Alberta has been the most vocal political opponent of the Kyoto Protocol, he fears that ratifying this Accord will significantly impact the energy sector;
- Gorden Campbell (LIB), Premier of BC is opposed to Kyoto, but would prefer a made-in Canada approach to reducing greenhouse gases. He states that the Province’s per capita greenhouse gas emissions are third lowest in Canada. Yet under the federal plan, B.C. will suffer the worst job and economic impacts;
- Lorne Calvert (NDP), Premier of Saskatchewan supports the Kyoto Protocol itself, however, they have serious questions about the federal government’s approach. The Liberal leader, David Karwacki has also spoken out in favour of Kyoto. Eldon Lautermilch, Saskatchewan's Minister of Industry and Resources, said his province wants a delay in ratification. The Saskatchewan Party is against it. SaskPower has threatened to raise prices, and Ipsco said that it would have to leave the province if Kyoto goes through;
- Gary Doer (NDP), Premier of Manitoba has been one of the strongest supporters of the Kyoto Protocol in Canada;
- Ernie Eaves (PC), Premier of Ontario spoke out against ratifying the Protocol after meeting with Premier Ralph Klein. The Ontario Environmental Commissioner has stated that he approves the ratification of Kyoto;
- Bernard Landry (PQ), Premier of Quebec has been a strong supporter of Kyoto;
- Bernard Lord (PC), Premier of New Brunswick says that his province can live with the ratification of Kyoto;
- John Hamm (PC), Premier of Nova Scotia is against the Kyoto Accord;
- Roger Grimes (LIB), Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador is against ratifying Kyoto and is looking into joining Alberta in a legal fight against Kyoto;
- Dennis Fentie, Premier of the Yukon Territory, Paul Okalik Premier of Nunavut, and the Premier of the NWT are in support of implementation of Kyoto. The Northwest Territories have stated that they favour the accord because they have seen the damage that global warming has done to their environment;