NEWS: Julian introduces bill for sustainable development

OTTAWA - Recent studies have shown that Canada has performed poorly in such environmental areas as greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and energy efficiency. Two recent evaluations of environmental performance ranked Canada 28th out of 30. Canada makes up less than one half of one percent of the world's population, but we are the world's eighth largest producer of carbon dioxide, a chief contributor to global warming.

Today, NDP MP Peter Julian (Burnaby-New Westminster) tabled a bill that would make sustainable development a government priority with the goal of addressing all major environmental problems within the next generation. The legislation was developed and published by the David Suzuki Foundation as the National Sustainability Act.

“David Suzuki is a great role model to Canadians and the planet. His work to make this world a better place is an inspiration to us all,” Julian said.

The bill encapsulates the intent of Suzuki’s Sustainability “Within a Generation” report. It includes such features as comprehensive sustainability goals and measurable targets, national sustainability monitoring, and a cabinet committee on sustainable development. The intent of the bill is not to just correct the existing situation but also to tackle the root causes of health and environmental problems before they occur.

“It is time that sustainable development be a front-running issue for every ministry and become a part of our political culture,” Julian said. “This is precisely what Suzuki’s legislative proposal intends to accomplish. The serious deficiencies that our country is experiencing need to be addressed by more effective sustainability planning. We borrow this planet from our children and as stewards we have a responsibility to protect it.”

The idea of tabling the Bill published by the David Suzuki Foundation was reinforced after extensive community consultations held by Julian in his riding. Nearly 500 individuals turned out to the three environmental forums organized by Julian’s office in Burnaby-New Westminster.