Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Does Canada have a Minister of the Environment?

Is Jim Prentice the Environment Minister? Or still the Industry Minister?

This is from the National Post commentary on Petro-China's $2 billion investment in the oil sands:

Environment Minister Jim Prentice is no fan of a single-buyer market for exported bitumen, which actually sells at a discount in the U. S. compared with Middle East oil despite coming from a friendly neighbour. He'd like competition injected into the system.

"Doesn't it help Canada's exporters to have alternative market choices?" he noted in a recent interview.

"We need transportation mechanisms to ship it to the West Coast. Refineries in the U. S. have limited capacity and we don't have anywhere else to sell it. Having the capacity to ship it to the West Coast would keep everybody honest, so I think it's good policy."


Mr. Prentice, you are the Minister of the Environment. In case you need a reminder, this is the mandate of Environment Canada:

to preserve and enhance the quality of the natural environment; conserve Canada's renewable resources; conserve and protect Canada's water resources; forecast weather and environmental change; enforce rules relating to boundary waters; and coordinate environmental policies and programs for the federal government.

Could you at least pretend to be interested in the environmental implications of expanding extraction in the oil sands and/or building a pipeline to the Pacific?

2 comments:

Rate Crimes said...

According to Wikipedia, "Prentice was appointed Minister of Industry on August 14, 2007, succeeding Maxime Bernier, and after the 2008 election became Minister of Environment on October 30, 2008, succeeding John Baird."

What ludicrous system would appoint a person as Minister of Environment a little over a year after appointing that person as Minister of Industry? It appears that there is a systemic as well as a personal problem.

isabell said...

Each of us say that the environment needs us, and we need to do the needful. We need to know what we can do, so here I have listed the most useful laws and treaties which I have seen across the web in favor of the environment.