Clock is Ticking: Report Card on Trudeau Government Environmental Performance
The federal government of Justin Trudeau received an “A” for effort and a “C” for execution in mid-term grades set out in a report prepared for national environmental groups including Nature Canada.
The “Clock is ticking” report gave an A to the government for the 2018 federal budget commitments to establish protected areas and recover species at risk. Nature Canada was quoted in the report to say: “Nature lovers – rejoice: Nature’s protection is taking flight and the 2018 federal budget is an amazing first step! We think that Canada’s wildlife would also applaud.” Budget 2018 included $1.3 billion over five years for protected areas and species as well as $1 billion to implement new environmental laws. At the same time, the report argued that the federal government needs to speed-up its activities for terrestrial protection to meet electoral and mandate letter promises.
The report found that “species protection continues to lag” “despite the hopeful promises in early 2000 with the passage of Species at Risk Act.”
Overall, the mid-term report concluded that the federal government “is making significant improvements to the environmental health of the country”. The government has “an ambitious agenda for their mandate and reversed many previous cuts to environmental laws, policies and finances.” Many promises have been kept. Achieving Paris Agreement targets for carbon emission reductions are quickly coming out of reach; and the proposed environmental impact assessment legislation needs further work.