With environmental concerns playing a major role in the 2021 federal election, we’re helping Canadians make the most informed choice at the polls by releasing this non-partisan Federal Party Survey on Environmental Platforms.
WWF-Canada, in collaboration with 13 other leading environmental organizations, sent a questionnaire to Canada’s main political parties addressing the issues that matter most to you, such as climate change, biodiversity, protecting nature and Indigenous rights.
We’ve included a summary of the survey below, and you can read through the parties’ full responses here.
We also encourage you to visit each party’s website and read through their platforms. But remember: not all platforms and policies are created equal. During election campaigns we hear a lot of exciting commitments — and sometimes those promises don’t materialize, especially when presented without timelines.
Here are some tips and questions voters can ask to dig deeper into election commitments:
o Look beyond the headlines and buzzwords to ask questions about campaign platforms. Do they have a plan with tangible milestones for bringing the commitment to life? Do they have a demonstrated history of supporting or bringing forward legislation on the issue?
o Look to groups providing the analysis of platforms. The devil is in the details. We often encounter environmental policies that sound great, but don’t end up accomplishing what is promised. Nonprofits, academics, and advocates can all help add context to the commitments.
o Ask about partners: Do they have existing contacts and partners to help bring the policies to life? For conservation issues in particular, do they have Indigenous partners and supporters of their plan?
o Can we see the forest for the trees? A one-off announcement with an attention-grabbing headline that focuses on a single action can be important, but environmental issues are complicated and usually need a holistic policy approach to be effective in the long-term.
o Remember, it’s not just about the party leaders. Talk to your local candidates to gauge their support for environmental issues, both nationally and locally. Look at their past experience and what they’re saying about the issues. Ask them questions. After all, they’re the candidates you’re voting for.
The survey represents the collective priorities of all of the following organizations: Canadian Environmental Law Association, CPAWS, David Suzuki Foundation, Ecology Action Centre, Ecojustice, Équiterre, Environmental Defence, Greenpeace, Nature Canada, Pembina Institute, Sierra Club Canada Foundation, West Coast Environmental Law Association, Wildlife Conservation Society Canada, and WWF-Canada