Working Towards a Sustainable Future in Canada

OpEd by Anne Mitchell, executive director of the Canadian Institute for Enviromental Law and Policy

Published: 02-Jan-2004

da has committed itself to sustainable development. At the World Summit for Sustainable Development, September 2002, we ratified the Kyoto Protocol, committed to having a plan in place by 2005 and to working with the rest of the world to halve the numbers in the world who are living in poverty and without clean water.

Over a year later, we are, as a country, considering ways and means to meet our commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. We have taken some actions and discussing others. We have taken steps to reduce our ecological footprint on the planet and to reduce the amount of energy we use.

Some city dwellers have given up their cars and have found the skies have not fallen. Our discussions include the need for increased resources to support public transit and renewable energy, mechanisms to reduce and monitor greenhouse gas emissions, further reduce pollution, protect our water, and support urban renewal.

These are all positive steps, but we cannot stop there. As well, Canada needs to address a growing crisis here at home — the increasing gap between rich and poor. We need to address the homelessness issue, the numbers of children living in poverty, the numbers of people who do not have adequate food, clothing and shelter in this one of the richest countries in the world.

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