The Harper government says that some of its most vocal critics on global warming policies – Canadian youth – are “not well informed” about the process of international negotiations, according to an internal Environment Canada document that has prompted astonishment from some of the young people in question.
“I don’t really know where to start,” said Amara Possian, 23, a Montreal resident who co-ordinated a delegation of Canadian youth in December 2011 who attended the annual United Nations climate change summit in South Africa. “It’s not that we’re not informed, it’s just that the government doesn’t want to listen.”
The document, released to Postmedia News through access-to-information legislation, was prepared for Canada’s climate change ambassador, Guy Saint-Jacques, following his appointment in 2010. It highlighted the importance of “transparency” and consultation with “civil society” within Canada to build support for federal policies.
“Key international NGOs are influencing both the parties (countries) and our domestic stakeholders, but we are not engaging them,” said a draft version of the presentation dated Sept. 7, 2010.
“Some groups are under-engaged or engaged very late in the process. Youth groups are not well-informed, tend to engage only at the (annual UN climate change summits), mainly through public advocacy activities.”
Saint-Jacques and Environment Minister Peter Kent were not available for interviews Thursday. But in a statement, Environment Canada said it is working hard to maintain good relations with stakeholders and has received some positive feedback on its efforts. Read more …