11.18.2010

poll confirms what we all know: harper govt out of step with majority of canadians

The day after the Conservative-controlled Senate squashed the climate change bill, this from the Council of Canadians:

Poll suggests Harper Government out of step with Canadians

Thursday, November 18, 2010

With just over a week before the next major round of UN climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, results of an Environics Research poll suggest that the Canadian public has far different priorities than the government when it comes to climate change.

Over 80 percent of Canadians agree that too much focus on economic growth and consumerism is a root cause of climate change. They also affirm that industrialized countries – which have historically produced the most greenhouse gas emissions – bear the most responsibility for reducing emissions.

“The results indicate Canadians understand that the climate crisis requires a change in economic, social, and environmental priorities. If Canadians were deciding our climate policy we would be following a very different path,” says Andrea Harden-Donahue, Energy and Climate Justice Campaigner, Council of Canadians.

The poll also indicates that over 70 percent of Canadians support redirecting of military spending toward efforts that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the idea of a World Climate and Justice Tribunal to judge and penalize countries and corporations whose actions have contributed climate change. Over 80 percent of Canadians believe the Canadian government should invest in “green jobs” and transition programmes for workers and communities negatively affected by a shift off of fossil fuels.

“These polling results indicate willingness on the part of Canadians for significant change in how we understand and respond to the climate crisis that is in keeping with the main themes discussed at a massive climate conference held last April in Bolivia,” adds Rick Arnold, Coordinator for Common Frontiers.

More than 35,000 people attended the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia, including delegates from the seven organizations and unions that commissioned the polling. The questions used in the Environics poll were adapted from those agreed to by participants at the World People’s Conference. “The Cochabamba conference was about affirming the need for an alternative paradigm that promotes harmony with nature,” says Clayton Thomas Muller of the Indigenous Environmental Network.

“In sharp contrast to the polling results, the Canadian government continues to justify its inaction on climate change by asserting its need to be in lock-step with Washington,” says Donald Lafleur, 4th National Vice-President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. Bill C-311, the Climate Change Accountability Act, which passed the House of Commons last May, was defeated in the Senate two days ago.

The Canadian Government supports the Copenhagen Accord which is not legally binding and does not include mandatory emissions reduction targets. “Even if all the countries that have supported this so-called Accord fulfilled their ‘voluntary’ targets, global temperatures would still rise by nearly 4 degrees Celsius above their pre-industrial levels. This spells disaster for much of the world,” adds John Dillon, spokesperson for KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives.

The results are a clear sign that Canadians need to be consulted concerning this government’s climate policy. “The Harper government should do what’s right, and undertake a national consultation on its climate policy,” says Raul Burbano from Toronto Bolivia Solidarity.

The poll was commissioned by the Council of Canadians, KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Indigenous Environmental Network, Common Frontiers, Public Service Alliance of Canada and Toronto Bolivia Solidarity.

Climate Change Poll Highlights

The telephone poll of 1,000 Canadians conducted October 27 to November 1 2010 has a margin of error of +/- 3.10%, 19 times out of 20.

87% of Canadians strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement: “The root cause of climate change is too much focus on economic growth and consumerism. We need to have an economy that is in harmony with nature, which recognizes and respects the planet.”

85% of Canadians strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement: “Industrialized countries which have historically produced the most greenhouse gas emissions, should be the most responsible for reducing current emissions.”

83% of Canadians strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement that: “The Canadian government should invest in green jobs and have transition programmes for workers and communities negatively affected by a shift away from reliance on fossil fuels.”

77% of Canadians strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement: “There should be a World Climate and Justice Tribunal to judge and penalize countries and corporations whose actions have contributed climate change and damaged the environment.”

71% of Canadians strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement: “The money spent on wars and the military would all be better spent on efforts that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts of climate change.” 54% of Conservative Party supporters polled agreed with this statement.

6 comments:

Some Person said...

Your country's official opposition must be really crummy if the overwhelming majority of Canadians disagree with the Prime Minister on one of the most critical issues of our time. Just sayin'

Mike said...

Yah know, given how out of step the Harperites are with most Canadians and how much Harper wants to be the U.S.'s lapdog, maybe we should just sub contract the running of the Canada to the U.S. I'm sure it would be much cheaper and cost effective to simply do away with this whole electing our own government. We could save shitload of money maybe even balance out the budget in one shot. It would probably be more democratic and honest than Harper's version of Parliament.

L-girl said...

Your country's official opposition must be really crummy if the overwhelming majority of Canadians disagree with the Prime Minister on one of the most critical issues of our time.

I have trouble imagining how it could be any worse.

If the Liberal Party had any kind of leader, this govt would be looong gone by now.

I think Mike is onto something. Although could we pick a different country to outsource to please?

redsock said...

Canada is an egalitarian paradise right now compared to the US. Seriously. Better to deport Helmethead to the States where he belongs.

But, yeah, when the "opposition" "leader" is marching in lockstep with Harper, bathing in the blood of war and ignoring the majority of citizens, there ain't much we can do.

...

Wow, Ignatieff has not been the leader of the Libs for even two years (Dec. 10, 2008)! Seems like double that ...

L-girl said...

Better to deport Helmethead to the States where he belongs.

Oh yeah. Way better idea.

Few Canadians realize how dire and desperate things are in the US right now (and of course only getting worse). It's very very sad for the millions of ordinary people who did nothing to cause the horror but are suffering because of it.

Mike said...

Ah, right you re L-girl, I should have said Halliburton... ;-)

Though seriously... er less facet... er... on a different note, seeing how various neo-con governments have been proving how incompetent they're version of running democratic countries have been, I think it would be more efficient to just remove the middle man and abolish said governments would be. It would certainly cut down on the hypocracy.