Pressing issues on Canada’s oil industry are bubbling to the surface for Toronto resident Mark Andrews, 35, as the federal election and opportunities for change draw closer.
With platforms from all parties loaded with varying pledges for efforts on addressing ecological impact and efficient energy solutions, some citizens are concerned with logistical implications and lack of critical action.
The Conservative party, in particular, has garnered criticism from Andrews for its pledge of further funding and investment into Canada’s oil industry and the production of extensive pipelines which threaten biodiversity and ecological stability.
“Certainly amongst my peers I find that my opinion is echoed among a lot of people my age and that is that because of their policies regarding climate change and continuing to invest in oil and other non-renewables the conservatives are just not an option for me personally and to most people I know of my generation,” says Andrews.
After a recent declaration, regarding the climate crisis, of a “code red for humanity” by the United Nations the urgency felt for appropriate and timely measures has reached a peak for some Canadians. The introduction of what is viewed by some as counterproductive potential policy in turn deeply affects their political support.
“The oil sands comprise an area larger than England, and this is an area that should be forest and it’s just stripped away into mining,” says Andrews. “The proposals by the conservatives and what they’re trying to put more money into just continues that at a time when the United Nations has said there is already irreversible damage.”
Andrews feels the situation, while dire, is not hopeless and he does not place blame solely on one person or party. While the current Liberal administration has not pledged further investment into non-renewables, it has frequently fallen short on meeting previous environmental goals.
“I think Canada is among those countries that is doing the most for climate change, however, it is not nearly enough and the current liberal government has multiple times missed their own targets for what they need to do in terms of their climate change priorities, so yeah it’s kind of tough right now,” says Andrews.
The fast-approaching election has Andrews apprehensive about which direction Canada will proceed going forward but remains hopeful it will be one that leads the way in crucial action against the detriments of non-renewables and ensuing environmental degradation.