Alberta: a harbinger for federal policy?

With polls suggesting that the next government in the province of Alberta, to be elected on April 23, may well be  Wildrose Party, and with many federal Conservative MPs supporting the further right Wildrose party in the election, GallonDaily thought it useful to review how Wildrose policies might permeate Ottawa.

The following are some highlights of Wildrose environmental policy in this Alberta election, drawn from the Leader’s environmental policy announcement:

  • the goals of protecting our natural environment and ensuring economic prosperity are not mutually exclusive.
  • Alberta’s oilsands have been unfairly portrayed both here and around the world.
  • it is imperative that economic growth never impinge on Albertans’ natural right to breathe clean air.
  • greenhouse gases are just one of many pollutants that threaten our air quality.
  • Greenhouse gases have become the lightning rod of the climate change debate, which has led to a host of politically motivated CO2 policies that have done little in the way of actual reduction.
  • We would implement a natural gas strategy focused on shifting energy output away from high-carbon fuels like coal onto natural gas and other cleaner burning alternatives. It’s what I [Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith] like to call a Triple Win. It would support our local industry, it would reduce emissions, and with natural gas prices so low, it would save Albertans a little bit of money too.
  • The oilsands are often mistaken for Alberta’s most precious natural resource. It’s actually water.  In southern Alberta, there are serious water access issues. In the north, the issue is water quality.
  • We would strictly enforce proper sewage treatment practices and existing regulations on effluent-producing industries.
  • We would revisit the use of dams and reservoirs in order to improve fresh water storage, reform our water licensing system to ensure maximum effectiveness, and promote water conservation by eliminating burdensome regulations that discourage new technologies
  • technological advancements will be instrumental in eventually eliminating tailings ponds.
  • Every new project is going to disturb the natural environment. The key is beginning each project with a clear strategy of how to return the land to its natural state as quickly as possible.
  • a Wildrose Government would implement a one-window policy for quick regulatory approvals. Let’s get . . . projects approved and stop delaying them so industry can hit the ground running and get to the recovery phase a lot faster.
  • We would also open up the lines of communication between public landowners and government by establishing an Environmental Ombudsman.
  • A Wildrose Government would make sure landowners are heard, their wishes respected and their lands returned to them in the same condition and value as they were prior to development.

The Wildrose environmental policy election platform can be found at http://www.wildrose.ca/policy/environment/

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