Canada Elections Could Turn on Sustainability Concerns

September 12, 2019

In advance of Canada federal elections, have you noticed more political ads focused on the environment?  While many have tried to turn sustainability into a partisan issue, much as it is in the US, Canada’s chief electoral officer assured NGOs that they’re free to promote combating climate change and other sustainability concerns in accordance with the Canada Elections Act.

“The science is clear – Canada’s climate is warming more rapidly than the global average,” says Nancy Hamzawi, assistant deputy minister for science and technology at the Department of the Environment.  A recent government report found that the country is warming at a rate twice the global average.  The change tracks with the nearby Arctic which is warming even faster.

The environment the new top-ranking concern for Canadian voters.  According to Forum Research’s national poll, 26 per cent of respondents chose the environment when asked to identify the most important issue in the coming federal campaign.  The economy came in second with health care third.

Climate change, economic fallout, emerging health concerns are all issues relevant to sustainability.  They will directly impact how corporations operate, just has the Canadian carbon tax has affected provinces to drive down carbon emissions and the even bigger reductions from Ontario’s closure of coal plants.

A change of political climate has already manifested.  The Green Party, often considered a “wasted vote”, is poised for greater prominence.  The Green Party’s second federal MP was elected this year.  They made Canadian history in Prince Edward Island’s provincial election by becoming the official opposition party for the first time.

Opportunities for companies to specialize in sustainability efforts, to become leaders in the field, are tremendous.  CSE has already assisted communications, construction, landscape management and mining companies in Canada identify where they can take advantage of emerging technologies, community-level reporting and employee education to develop leadership and expertise.  Not to mention the hundreds of sustainability executives and practitioners CSE trains every year worldwide.

Sustainability rests on a strong business case.  Now, it makes political sense as well.  After elections, Toronto is an ideal location for CSE’s Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Program, Leadership Edition 2019, Oct. 31-Nov.1, 2019.  This is CSE’s second Toronto training this year (April’s was sold out!).


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