Please see the attached pdf at the bottom of this article for the formatted version. Below is the text-only:
Respectfully Submitted Policy Report for Parliamentarians
In announcing his newly-elected cabinet, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau broke with the past by lengthening the title of the ‘Minister of the Environment’ to now include ‘and Climate Change’. This was meant to signal to Canadians that the new government is making climate change policy a priority, worthy of a key cabinet post. One of Minister Catherine McKenna’s first tweets as Minister was, “Canada agrees the science is indisputable, and we recognize the need for urgent/greater action that is grounded in robust science.” The Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada shares the Minister’s passion for grounding climate policy in “robust science” and encourages the Parliament of Canada to re-examine the facts and ideologies directing climate change policy.
The idea of climate change – specifically catastrophic anthropogenic (man-caused) global warming – was brought to public attention when high-profile environmentalists and politicians publicized statistics showing a rapid increase of the earth’s temperature since the industrial revolution. The signing of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992 and Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth documentary popularized the cause. Based on computer modelling of historic weather patterns, cataclysmic predictions were made: total polar ice-cap melts, dramatic increases in sea levels, flooding in some areas and severe droughts in other areas, the extinction of animal and plant species, and the increase of natural disasters, plagues and famines which will alter the lives of billions of people across the globe. Such predictions are understandably alarming.
ARPA Canada's Executive Director and Legal Counsel are among the signatories of a quality declaration from the Cornwall Alliance titled "Protect the Poor: Ten Reasons to Oppose Harmful Climate Change Policies." We joined over 20 climate scientists, along with many economists, policy experts, and ministry leaders and we encourage our readers to consider signing onto this declaration as well (please note that this declaration is available for all citizens to sign, not just those with fancy titles and educational degrees). Among other things, the declaration calls on political leaders "to...
The following article, "Report Card: Assessing Canada's Conservative Government on 10 Key Issues" was originally published in the Reformed Perspective magazine. It has been updated and included here as a reference item for our readers. You can download a PDF of the updated version, linked at the bottom of the text if you wish to print a copy. By Mark Penninga (Updated July, 2014) In a June 2011 article for Reformed Perspective I detailed 10 realistic goals that could be accomplished for our nation under this Conservative government if our leaders have the courage to lead and if citizens give them the encouragement and accountability to do so. Now that we are about halfway through this government’s mandate, how are we faring on these issues? 1. Give Aboriginals the responsibility and hope that belongs to all Canadians Grade: B+ Not long after ARPA published a policy report on this issue in 2012, we were very encouraged to see the federal government announce a number of bills and policies to increase accountability, equality, and opportunity for Canada's Aboriginal peoples. In June 2013, the First Nations Financial Transparency Act became law. Aboriginal MP Rob Clarke has also introduced a private member's bill C-428 entitled the Indian Act Amendment and Replacement Act. And the government has also taken steps towards allowing private property ownership on reserves and increasing parental responsibility in education. As encouraging as these changes are, they are small steps in light of the enormity of the problem. And given that the issue crosses into provincial responsibility, much more can also be done in having the provinces and federal government work towards a common vision. 2. Reform the Canadian Human Rights Commission Grade: C- In light of all the opposition from all sides of the political spectrum to problematic sections of the Canadian Human Rights Act, it is striking that it took a private member's bill (Brian Storseth's C-304) to finally abolish Section 13 in the summer of 2013. This was a huge victory, but the current government can't take much credit for it, apart from not actively opposing it. Much more can be done to reform or even abolish the Canadian Human Rights Commission.