It may be difficult to imagine a Canadian governmental system in which all federal parties champion progressive environmental policy and stick to their promises.
It may also be difficult to imagine national discussions about environmental issues that are not politically divisive. But these sorts of governments exist elsewhere in the world, and they are held accountable by the citizenry that votes them in.
These governments are aware that unless they uphold a certain standard of environmental leadership, they won’t be holding office again any time soon.
Under such a system, the kind of behavior elicited by our federal government over the past ten years simply would not pass the test of voters. Nor would the false claim that the environment must suffer at the hands of a healthy economy.
Ecology Ottawa wants a federal government that is committed to environmental leadership.
We want a government that cares about greenspace, public transit, clean water, clean air and clean energy. A better federal government will have a critical impact on the future sustainability of the City of Ottawa. This means the upcoming federal election is an important opportunity for those who want a clean and healthy Ottawa to make their mark.
In order to make this happen, we’re taking a page from the politicians’ handbooks. We’ve decided to mobilize, much like they do. They understand that there are certain areas where they have strong support, where they stand a chance at winning, and they distribute their limited resources accordingly.
Ecology Ottawa is no different in its approach to organizing communities around key environmental issues. Because we just do not have enough resources to be everywhere at once, we must prioritize some communities over others.
In the long term, this approach allows for a strong base of environmentally concerned constituents to emerge in key areas where the parties will be focusing their time and energy. And it is in these key areas that elections are won and lost. This strategy has the power to shift the political agenda and demonstrate to candidates that, in order to get elected, they must take environmental leadership seriously.
In the short term, we’re focusing our attention on Ottawa political battlegrounds in the run-up to the federal election.
We’re going door-to-door to identify individuals that care about environmental issues and help them make an informed choice for environmental leadership in October.
Join us by volunteering or helping out with a fundraiser. To find out more about our election strategy, please email Robb Barnes at robb.barnes [at] ecologyottawa.ca. Our federal election petition, calling on our federal party leaders to adopt a national climate change strategy, can be found here.