Getting the Facts Straight: Canada’s Environmental Record & Climate Credibility Gap
In the last weeks, the controversy around the Keystone XL pipeline proposal entered into a new phase after the release of the US State Department’s draft environmental assessment. Ever since, the Canadian government has been on the offensive trying to ensure the project gets the green light from Washington. A parade of federal and provincial politicians have flocked to Washington in efforts to lobby our American neighbours on the many alleged mutual benefits of the project. In addition to the regular pro-pipeline arguments, they have also been eager to green-wash Canada’s overall legitimacy on environmental standards and effective climate action. In recent weeks, the Harper government has caused quite the PR storm on climate and environment, partly seen as a response to the general acknowledgement that Canada’s environmental record will be a major deciding factor on the Keystone XL proposal.
On his own pipeline-boosting trip, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver’s touted the tar sands as “a greener alternative” at a Chicago speech and highlighted that pipeline decisions should be “based on science and facts, not conjecture, hyperbole or ideology”. We agree with the minister on that and a few of Climate Action Network’s partners have taken the time to examine the claims made by Minister Oliver and others under a fine microscope, and they discovered some pretty big gaps between the facts of Canada’s recent record on environment and climate and what the government’s green-wash spin would have you believe.