$1.3 Billion to Conservation (by A. Olive)

In the Liberal 2018 federal budget, the government announced $1.3 billion in funding for conservation (over the next 5 years). You can read about it here on CTV. This is the single largest contribution to conservation in Canada’s history.

I was invited to speak about it The Agenda with Steve Paikin. You can watch the 30 minute video clip here.



Looking Back and Signing Off (N. Esak)

While writing as a guest blogger, I’ve gained new perspectives in the evolving issues of Canadian environmental policy and law.  Writing weekly for this blog has not only required me to consistently keep up with Canadian political and environmental news, but has shown me how many avenues and different stakeholders are involved in environmental issues. Environmental concerns do not only pertain to ecological issues, but social, cultural, political and economic factors as well. This was shown first hand in my blog topics, writing on issues of pipelines and carbon tax’s, to indigenous rights, to climate change policy, and even environmental sustainability education. This taught me the significance of how holistic environmental sustainability issues are and how they have the ability to impact all sectors of society.

Since September 2017 when I began writing for the blog, I’ve gained a lot of perspective on the contributing factors which heavily influence Canadian environmental policy. For instance, the impact provincial politics plays in the environmental agenda of the federal government is worth much more than I or many others would have thought. Cases such as Manitoba and Saskatchewan deciding not to join the federal climate change framework or Alberta’s push towards the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline has demonstrated that there is definitely a divide in Canada on those who are for or against prioritizing climate change policy over economic incentives. However, Trudeau government has at least had all governments discussing climate change policy. Coming from a Harper government this is definitely progress we should be happy about.

Moreover, from blogging these past months it has also been clear that Canada has been held back from its full potential due to the implications of Trump’s presidency. This was made clear in many ways, but specifically concerning the NAFTA negotiation process and Canada’s push for clean technology and trade. With this agreement being criticized by Trump since before he was even elected, it has made it very difficult for Canada to not only push for environmental issues, but social issues as well.

Speaking of social issues, it was enlightening to write about the social sustainability issues which are not always publically associated with environmental policy. Writing on indigenous movements, gender equality, and education has really made me acknowledge the need of placing importance on recognition in Canadian environmental policy. Understanding how women, racial minorities, and indigenous groups are forced to bear the burdens of environmental consequences due to systematic barriers is necessary for the implementation of efficient environmental policy.

As I end my last post as a guest blogger I hope some of you were able to take away how crucial environmental policy is, not only in Canada but globally. Even when watching or reading about current events, try to think about the environmental implications that could be associated with the news you are consuming. And finally, always keep in mind that environmental problems manifest to economic harms, racialized harms, gender inequality harm, and indigenous harms. They all influence each other, so when combating one of these issues, we need to be combatting them all.

Good-bye and all the best,

Nasra Esak

Here’s to a New Year for Climate Change Policy and NAFTA Negotiations (N. Esak)

As 2018 finally rings in, so do new opportunities for the federal government to begin implementing influential changes in climate change policy and the North American Free Trade Agreement. These topics have been a major talking point both in Canada and internationally this past year, and with 2018 rolling in now is the time for these topics to switch from just discussions to action.Screen Shot 2018-01-07 at 8.18.55 PM

Photo 1: Carbon pollution in an industrial factory


Climate change policy has been a huge topic discussed for 2018, especially with the release of the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. One of the major legislations part of the framework include the federal government imposing a carbon price as part of their zero-emission strategy to phase out coal-fueled energy by 2030 (Rabson, 2017).  The federal government plans on imposing this tax on the provinces not able to fulfil their standards on their own. The plan looks to price carbon at $10/tonne this year and then phase to rise $10 each year after until 2022 where it will be $50/tonne (Rabson, 2017).

Manitoba and Saskatchewan decided to not join the climate change framework, however they did release their own climate change plans this past fall. Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, publically stated that it was a good sign that these provinces were at least recognizing climate change issues, but their current plans will not be able to meet the federal governments goals and standards if not improved (Rabson, 2017). With climate change expected to be the main topic in the G7 leader’s summit in Quebec, the federal government needs to start implementing the legislations found in the Pan Canadian Framework, including carbon tax, across all provinces as quickly as possible in order for Canada to be seen as a top international leader in climate change and sustainability among its other G7 peers (Rabson, 2017).

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Photo 2: U.S President Donald Trump speaking with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

This year is also an important year for determining the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement, with Trump and his government being very vocal towards their attitudes of its current state. Despite the fact that Trump’s issues of the NAFTA Agreement may stem from his views of Mexico, Canada is at risk of dangerous consequences with this agreement being changed for the worst. The benefits of this agreement has allowed for the free trade of goods between the US, Canada, and Mexico since its implementation in the 90’s, providing economic benefits for all three countries (Simpson, 2018).

This past week cabinet ministers headed to the United States in efforts to promote NAFTA negotiations. In the previous year there have been minimum movements towards NAFTA from past negotiations, so Canadian trade negotiators are under pressure to make sure that this new round of talks start to go towards Canada’s favor (Simpson, 2018). It is important that Canada not only makes sure that the NAFTA agreement stays implemented, but also reiterate their goals of increased environmental and sustainability provisions and regulations to combat climate change issues. Although this will most likely be a difficult task considering the current US government’s stance on environmental issues at this point, it will be necessary that Canadian representatives focus on the economic advantages long-term of implementing environmental and climate change policies (Simpson, 2018).

I think it’s safe to say that the federal government has a lot of work ahead of them this year. While 2017 was the year of discussion on the issues of climate change and NAFTA, 2018 needs to be the year of the implementation of their targets. However, with the Trump era not making it easy, Canada needs to push now more than ever to make their environmental goals become a reality.




Rabson, M. (2017, December 08). Ottawa is Dragging its Feet on Climate Change Plan, Critics Say. Retrieved January 07, 2018, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/federal-climate-framework-1.4439184

Simpson, K. (2018, January 05). Canada’s NAFTA Charm Offensive Kicks into High Gear. Retrived January 07, 2018, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/cabinet-ministers-visit-us-to-promote-trade-1.4472822



Mistake not including Carbon Tax in Saskatchewan’s New Climate Change Strategy Plan? (N. Eska)

The province of Saskatchewan made an announcement on Monday December 4th – their new climate change strategy plan titled ‘Prairie Resilience: a Man-in-Saskatchewan Climate Change Strategy.” However, the main news buzzing about this new climate strategy plan is its lack of a carbon price. Minister of Environment in Saskatchewan, Dustin Duncun, discussed this strategy, addressing how through this new plan, “The province will give large emitting facilities in oil, gas and mining “flexible compliance options” (Hunter, 2017).

Duncan defends the fact that carbon taxation is missing from the plan, stating that the goal of the province is both to allow their industries to grow and to stay competitive with the rest of the global industrial world, while also being mindful of environmental factors. He argued this idea by stating “We want to see the economy continue to grow and, for some industries, that means that their emissions will grow. It’s not a cap-and-trade program where we’re capping absolutely the amount of emissions” (Hunter, 2017).

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna addressed her views on the new climate change strategy plan in a Facebook post soon after the announcement, addressing her concerns on the direction the province is taking towards climate change. She stated how “Based on what’s in today’s plan, Saskatchewan’s price likely wouldn’t hit our standard, because it applies only to heavy industry instead of being economy-wide”. Moreover, this plan is also going against this Liberal federal government’s aims towards $10 per tonne of carbon emissions in the start of 2018 before prices rise to about $50 per tonne (Hunter, 2017).

The main issues of this plan are the fact that there are no targets or aims the province tries to achieve regarding how many greenhouse emissions they plan on reducing, says University of Alberta energy economist Andrew Leach (The Canadian Press, 2017). “The biggest hole in Saskatchewan’s plan is its limited scope” said Leach, “They’re not touching their transportation, home heating, commercial and industrial energy use at all with this policy” (The Canadian Press, 2017).

It is no surprise that Saskatchewan did not include a carbon tax to their policy as they had opposed to this federal government’s carbon tax plans since its announcement (Fraser, 2017). It doesn’t look good, however that the province is prioritizing industrial and economic growth over environmental and climate change progress with this new plan. Time will only tell whether this plan proves to be successful as Minister of Environment in Saskatchewan wishes, or if this will continue to push Saskatchewan back from reducing their carbon emissions.





D.C. Fraser (2017, December 04). No Carbon Tax in Saskatchewan Govermemt Climate Change Plan. Retrived December 04, 2017 from http://leaderpost.com/news/saskatchewan/no-carbon-tax-in-sask-s-climate-change-plan

Hunter, A. (2017, December 04). No Carbon Tax in Sask. Government Climate Change Plan. Retrived December 04, 2017, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/no-carbon-price-tax-sask-government-climate-change-plan-1.4431724

The Canadian Press. (2017, December 04). Saskatwean Climate Change Plan Includes Buying Carbon Offsets, No Carbon Tax. Retrived December 04, 2017, from http://www.news1130.com/2017/12/04/saskatchewans-climate-change-strategy-includes-buying-carbon-offsets/



COP23 and Gender Equality in Global Climate Change Policy (N. Esak)

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Photo: Panel discussion during Bonn 2017 COP23 conference


Last week the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) commenced for its 23rd session for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany (IISD, 2017). Running from November 6th-17th, the conference’s main aim was to define international goals and actions which would “prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” as well as ways to maintain a global temperature risen of below 2C (Heine, 2017). One of these goals introduced was the increased inclusion of the role of women in global climate action.

The Fiji Presidency addressed the importance of introducing a Gender Action Plan which all governments a part of the conference would agree to follow. This plan would involve recognizing the role of woman in global climate change issues and integrating them in the decision-making process for global climate policy (United Nations, 2017).

When thinking about systematic solutions for climate change, I would have to admit, gender inclusivity wasn’t a topic I would quickly think of as a high priority in climate change issues. However, after readings an article on the Guardian which was retweeted by Canadian environmental minister Catherine McKenna my views have shifted. The unfortunate reality is that woman globally have been receiving the major consequences of climate change (Heine, 2017). They have been disproportionally affected by climate change as they have obtained the blunt of negative affects while also been deprived of the resources or voice to deal with and address these issues (Heine, 2017).


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Photo: COP23 Negotiator Nazhat Shameen Khan addressing the Gender Action Plan


Studies have shown that woman and children globally are more than 14x more likely to be killed or wounded from natural disasters, which are increased due to climate change (UN Women, 2017). Moreover, due to the losses associated with climate change induced natural disasters, especially in the global south, girls are more likely than boys to leave school to help pay the bills and increased domestic chores (UN Women, 2017). These increased responsibilities and traumas placed upon woman coupled with gendered systematic barriers have kept woman from having any political voice or decision-making power.

Allowing woman and local communities to be major decision makers in global climate change will allow for a more democratic and inclusive decision-making system (Heine, 2017). Inclusive community based systems which involve the voices all stakeholders, marginalized or not, is what is needed to occur in order for global climate policy to be the most effective. However, it is not enough to just have female policymakers in the discourse on climate change, but woman directly impacted by horrible climate change costs, especially indigenous communities and those in the Global South.

Addressing this issue on a large global stage as the COP23 conference was a great push in the right direction for the future of global climate policy and it is essential that all governments involved in the conference agree on this Gender Action Plan. Hopefully in the following two years this plan will lead to increases in female policymakers, especially from indigenous communities and the Global South, in order to bring gender equity to global climate change policy.


Heine, H. (2017, November 15). Global Climate Change Action Must be Gender Equal. Retrived November 26, 2017, from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/15/global-climate-action-must-be-gender-equal?CMP=twt_gu

IISD. (2017). UNFCCC COP23. Retrived November 26 2017, from http://sdg.iisd.org/events/unfccc-cop-23/

United Nations. (2017, November 13). COP23 recognizes the role of women in climate action. Retrived November 26, 2017, from http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/blog/2017/11/un-climate-conference-recognizes-the-role-of-women-in-climate-action/

UN Women. (2017). Why is Climate a Gender Issue? Retrieved November 26, 2017, from https://www.uncclearn.org/sites/default/files/inventory/unwomen704.pdf

The Climate is Changing, but is Canada Really Prepared for the Consequences? (N. Esak)

170901090133-01-irma-harvey-0901-super-169.jpgPhoto: Satellite view of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane

With two devastating hurricanes hitting the United States consecutively, it is important to discuss what is impacting the severity of these storms. Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma resulted in devastating losses both in the southern United States and parts of South America. While climatologists do say that climate change may not be the direct cause of these natural disasters, they are certain that increases in warmer temperatures and rising sea levels are making these natural disasters more severe than they would originally be (Dangerfield, 2017). Therefore, the consequences of these hurricanes have made the issues of climate change clearer than ever. But, should Canada prepare to see the costs of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change as well?

According to Environment Canada’s senior climatologist, Dave Phillips, hurricanes higher than a category 3 are normally very unlikely in Canada due to the country’s cold water temperatures (Dangerfield, 2017). Although, due to increases in air and water temperature from global warming, there is a strong possibility that hurricanes in Canada can increase in their intensities, creating greater risks for Canadian cities near Atlantic waters.

It may not be all that surprising, however, that our neighbours in the United States are moving away from climate change and sustainable policies, whether it was with their withdrawal from the Paris Agreement to having a chief of the EPA not believe in the link between CO2 emissions and climate change. Even through tweets from the most powerful leader of the country, Donald Trump previously stated that he thinks that the concept of climate change was created by the Chinese in order to “make US manufacturing non-competitive”, demonstrating that issues on climate change are far from a priority for the US at the moment, despite their recent hurricanes.


As for Canada on the other hand, both Trudeau and his government have continuously stated their commitment to improving its climate change and sustainable policies, with Trudeau himself stating in the United Nations General Assembly in New York “And for our part, Canada will continue to fight for the global plan that has a realistic chance of countering it. We have a responsibility to future generations and we will uphold it.” (Gaouette, 2017).

However, a fall audit conducted by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Julie Gelfand, reveled discrepancies between what this current government has been publically stating and what has actually been implemented. In her report, Gelfand gave the government “a failing grade” to 14 out of 19 governmental departments, including Environment and Climate Change Canada and Infrastructure Canada. She stated that the failing grade of these agencies were because that they have yet to implement “successive emission-reduction plans” which can be adaptable to target the economic and environmental impacts of climate change (Harris, 2017).  The federal government has responded to these claims from the report, stating that the history of the Harper government has made the process of implementing climate change plans much slower, making it impossible to meet their 2020 targets (CBC Radio, 2017).


Photo: The Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Julie Gelfand

As the consequences of climate change are being felt right now with the intensity of hurricanes and other extreme weather issues, it is clear that the Canadian government needs to be doing more than just speaking on its commitment to climate change, but acting on it. Based on the tragedies of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey, we cannot afford to wait any longer to implement lasting environmental policies. Hopefully this fall audit was a wake-up call for Canadian government to begin on acting rather than simply preaching on its commitments.


Indigenous and Environmental Movements in the Cancellation of the Energy East Pipeline (N. Esak)

Picture1Photo: Protesters in Ottawa against the Energy East Pipeline

TransCanada announced this month that they will not be proceeding with its Energy East pipeline proposal. This cancellation sparked a variety of opinions among opposing sides from critics such as Alberta’s Premier, Racheal Notley and representatives of Irving oil who had strong economic incentives to the pipelines, to those considering this cancellation as a victory such as Grand Chief Serge Simon of the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake and many environmental NGO’s.

The pipeline, if passed, would have brought more than 1 million barrels of crude oil every day from the Alberta tar sands to the eastern Canadian ports. This would have required the creation of a 1,400km pipeline across Quebec and New Brunswick as well as altering an existing pipeline already in the path (Greenpeace, 2017).

Picture2Photo: Map of potential Energy East pipeline route

The federal government announced that their reasoning for halting the pipeline was due to dropping oil prices (TransCanada, 2017). Initially when the pipeline was being proposed the cost of oil was at more than $80 a barrel. Although due to years of delay in the pipelines production, the price of oil then dropped to about $50 a barrel, which made the creation of the pipeline less of a necessity (Ballingall, 2017)

However, it could be said that that these delays were the leverage those opposed to the pipeline needed in order to stop its production. The pipeline was initially arranged be approved in 2014, but delays from environmental groups, NGO’s, as well as First Nations communities pushed the dates for approval back, giving time for the market price of oil to naturally drop. Once the price had enough time to drop on its own, there was less of an economic incentive for the federal government to approve the pipeline’s production.

One instance of these delays can be demonstrated in St Lawrence Port where environmental groups from the David Suzuki Foundation, Nature Quebec, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society were awarded a temporary injunction to stop exploratory work from TransCanada for the Energy East pipeline due to the projects risk of threatening beluga whales nursing in that area. It was found in this case that the Quebec minister of environment was incorrect in granting the permit for that project as they had not done enough research on the environmental impacts to do so, creating a delay in the pipelines approval (CBC News, 2014).

Another instance of delay was initiated by First Nations communities in December of 2013 when leaders from variety of First Nations communities assembled in Gatineau Quebec and demanded to not only be stakeholders but full partners when it came to the decisions made towards the pipeline’s construction. If made, the pipeline would have crossed by and affected 180 indigenous communities in its path. They stated that the company was violating their treaty rights by not consulting with these communities during every step of the process. This lead to their multi-million dollar suit towards TransCanada, creating more delays in the pipelines production (Tucker, 2017).

Although this is most definitely not the end for oil pipeline proposals in Canada, the cancellation of the Energy East pipeline is proof of the strong impact collective action and social movements can have in even the largest projects. As Grand Chief Serge Simon of the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake stated “Both the Northern Gateway fight and this Energy East one show that when First Nations stand together, supported by non-Indigenous allies, we win” (The Canadian Press, 2017).



Ballingall, A. (2017, October 05). TransCanada ends bid to build Energy East pipeline after ‘careful review of changed circumstances’. Retrived October 22 2017, from https://www.thestar.com/business/2017/10/05/transcanada-ends-bid-to-build-energy-east-pipeline-after-careful-review-of-changed-circumstances.html

CBC News. (2014, September 23). TransCanada work on St. Lawrence oil port suspended by court. Retrived October 22, 2017, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/transcanada-work-on-st-lawrence-port-suspended-by-quebec-court-order-1.2775613

The Canadian Press. (2017, October 05). What’s being said about the end of TransCanada’s Energy East. Retrieved October 22 2017, from http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/what-s-being-said-about-the-end-of-transcanada-s-energy-east-1.3620833

The Energy East Pipeline (n.d). Retrived October 22, 2017, from http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/tarsands/Energy-East-Pipeline/

TransCanada (2017, October 05). TransCanada Announces Termination of Energy East Pipeline and Eastern Mainline Projects. Retrived October 22, 2017, from https://www.transcanada.com/en/announcements/2017-10-05-transcanada-anounces-termination-of-energy-east-pipeline-and-eastern-mainline-projects/

 Tucker, B. (2017, October 13). Social movements played a huge part in derailing Energy East: Opinion. Retrived October 22, 2017, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/social-movements-energy-east-1.4344080


NAFTA & Values

With all the storms ranging on, it is hard to focus on anything else. And it is always hard to focus on trade law – it is the kind of thing that makes most people’s eyes glaze over from boredom and/or confusion. I have to admit, I wish I knew more economics so I could better understand the complexities of creating sound trade policy.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been a thorn in Trump’s side since he first decided to run for office. Throughout his campaign he loved referring to it as “the worst trade deal every made.” This trade deal – between Canada, the US, and Mexico – is intended to create a free flow of goods (and to a lesser extent workers) throughout the North American continent. It is an impressive trade deal and served North American people since the early 1990s.

Trump’s problem with NAFTA seems to stem from his attitudes toward Mexico. Indeed, he recently admitted that he never even thinks about Canada. In speaking with President Nieto of Mexico back in January, Trump said that trade with Canada and the US “has been much more balanced and much more fair. So we do not need to worry about Canada, we don’t even think about them.” Nice sentiment. I believe him.

Well, he is thinking about Canada now. NAFTA talks are in progress and Canada has three issues on the table: the environment, gender, and indigenous rights. The Globe and Mail editorial staff wrote about this approach and has come out against fighting for gender and indigenous rights to be part of NAFTA. I disagree. Human rights are often tied to trade and many countries use trade (or sanctions) as a way to encourage countries to adopt human rights. Gender and Indigenous rights are human rights. Canada is on the moral high ground to ask its neighbours for trade that is fair to women and Indigenous peoples.

In terms of the environment, the Globe asks “should Canada go to the wall on this issue?” In a word: yes. We have to. We simply have to. The North American continent needs more cooperation on environmental issues and a big-picture understanding of how the economy and the environment are one-in-the-same. If Trump wants to lower emission standards and pollution standards in the US, it should not be to the disadvantages of Canadian business who are required to step-in-line with Canada’s climate change commitments. Mexico is on the same page as Canada for the most part (keep in mind it is still a developing country and its commitments under the Paris Protocol are dramatically different).

It is difficult for me to resist linking the hurricanes, climate change, and NAFTA. It is impossible for me to resist saying that Canada has to stand firm on energy policy and emission standards in trade deals. I think the people of Texas and Florida might also agree.

Thank You & Good Bye


Source: The end of my guest blogging has come! Thank you everyone J


Hey Folks!

My time as a guest writer for Professor Olive’s wonderful blog has come to an end and I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank Professor Olive for giving me the amazing opportunity to contribute and to the readers for reading.

Over the course of several weeks, I have realized that the subject of environmental politics in Canada is ever-evolving and it is so very fascinating to follow. It is interesting to see how issues arise, develop, and alter and you realize that there are so many parties involved when it comes to environmental politics. My first blog post was about the Canada-US softwood lumber dispute and since then, I have come to, strangely enough, relish the interactions between Prime Minister Trudeau and President Trump and their conflicting ideologies. It is like a reality show drama for me (which is not too surprising considering their backgrounds…). In any case, I look forward to seeing how matters pan out in the next few years of Trump’s presidency and to see how Canada responds. One thing I have learned, to the contrary of my prior beliefs, is that Canada has a back bone. Until recently, I was under the impression that Canada just succumbs to the whims of the US, but through our actions, especially on the environmental front, Canada has clearly grown up and is standing up to Uncle Sam!

We are dedicated to fulfilling our commitment to the Paris Accord and our many and varied environmental initiatives across Canada only prove our unwavering dedication, despite the opposing and environmentally-degrading actions of Trump. I think it is fair to say that we have surpassed the US in terms of our leadership status due to our desire to actively tackle climate change and work towards making a difference. Canada is truly an environmental global leader and a role model for all countries to emulate. I also revealed through the blog posts that I perceive that we are experiencing the fourth wave of environmentalism and I urge everyone to partake in this period of time as it is historic and momentous. I believe that Canadian society is collectively acknowledging that both resources and species have the ability to disappear, so we must do what we can to protect them.

As a result of producing blog posts, I have learned so much about Canadian environmental politics and I feel inspired. I feel motivated to continue following these matters and to contribute and make a difference myself. I hope that through following this blog, you feel this way too and have become mobilized. Once again, it has been a wonderful experience learning how to write blog posts and I really appreciate this opportunity. As a parting note, I encourage everyone to visit Canadian parks for the minimal time that is left of this summer since entry is free and also… Happy 150th Birthday Canada!


Victoria Nader

#PromiseKept: What is Bill C-18? (by V. Nader)

On July 19, 2017, Bill C-18 became law in Canada after receiving Royal Assent. Bill C-18 is an Act to amend the Rouge National Urban Park Act, the Parks Canada Agency Act, and the Canada National Parks Act.

The summary of the Act is as follows: “This enactment amends the Rouge National Urban Park Act to set out priorities in respect of factors to be considered in the management of the park. Additionally, it adds land to the park. It also amends the Parks Canada Agency Act to allow the New Parks and Historic Sites Account to be used in a broader manner. Finally, it amends the Canada National Parks Act to modify the boundary of Wood Buffalo National Park of Canada.”

The objectives of the Act are to protect the first national urban park’s ecological integrity and transfer land to increase the size of the park. It is said in a statement issued by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and Parks Canada that “Once complete, Rouge will become one of the largest parks in the world found within an urban setting. It will be 19 times larger than Vancouver’s Stanley Park, and 23 times bigger than New York’s Central Park.” This is really exciting and hopefully it will encourage people to visit the park more, which is about an hour drive away from Toronto and accessible by transit.

In related news, to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, the park is offering a free shuttle bus service from Toronto to the park from July to October this year. I definitely will be taking advantage of it and I think everyone should too!

Another aim of the Act is to provide greater long-term stability for park farmers and their families. The amendments will do so by replacing one-year leases with leases of up to 30 years. The Rouge National Urban Park website outlines the outcome which is “Farmers can continue carrying out agricultural activities within the park and providing an important source of locally-grown food to the Greater Toronto Area.”

Bill C-18, along with the many other bills that have been enacted this past week, are referred to as a #PromiseKept by the Trudeau administration. On Catherine McKenna’s official website, it states “With the passing of this Bill, our government has followed through on its promise to protect the ecological integrity of Rouge National Urban Park making this a #PromiseKept.”

Moreover, Rouge National Urban Park has been a location in which environmental preservation has been promoted. For example, it has been a place in which citizens could contribute to the protection of endangered species and preservation of wildlife conservation by engaging in a BioBlitz. In fact, the first two BioBlitzes were held in Toronto and they helped to measure an increase or loss in biodiversity in a specific large area. You can learn more about getting involved with BioBlitz here.

I feel that this Act is part of the 4th wave environmentalism that I believe we are experiencing now as it is promoting the preservation of the environment. It also strongly resembles the first wave of environmentalism when the Canadian government realized that resources, such as nature and wildlife, were finite which led to the creation of national parks. I foresee the expansion of the Rouge National Urban Park increasing tourism and, thus, the well-being of people and, most importantly, protecting the area’s ecology and biodiversity.