It’s an important question that comes to mind anytime an election comes up: what will the new government do for animals and their habitats. Unfortunately, with tonight’s win by the NDP in Alberta, we have absolutely no idea how to answer it.
The New Democrats are a bit of an unknown entity in the wild West. While their platform does include the environment as a broad topic, it doesn’t go into specifics on policy. The platform notes action will be taken on environmental issues such as:
- Green retrofitting program for families, farms and small businesses
- Phase-out of coal-fired power
- Ban gas-drilling in urban areas
Alongside those interesting promises, however, is this policy point:
5.12: We will strengthen environmental standards, inspection, monitoring and enforcement to protect Alberta’s water, land and air. We will build standards based on independent science and international best practices, designed transparently in careful consultation with Albertans.
It sounds nice – but it is so broad that it can be layered on top of virtually any policy in the future.
The supporters of The Fur-Bearers are likely most concerned about the hotly debated wolf kill program initiated under the outgoing Conservative party. Unfortunately, here as well we have severely limited information.
What we can say is that this NDP government will likely be out to prove themselves. Following the first defeat of the Conservative party in 43 years, they certainly will have a lot of eyes on them. Ideally, this will mean they are more open to listening and responding to their electoral base – the lack of which may well have put the nail in the coffin of Jim Prentice’s right wing governance.
We, too, will be watching closely. We will be reaching out to new cabinet ministers as soon as they’re announced to introduce ourselves and find out where they stand on the issues that are in our – and your – hearts.
Regardless of whom you chose on the ballot, thank you for going out and voting.
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