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Canadian government failing Sustainable Economy 101: report card

Foundation Earth        

School has only just begun, but the Harper government has already earned itself a failing grade. A new report card from a leading international think-tank gives the federal government straight Fs for its management of the economy, ecology, and equity.

Foundation Earth, a U.S.-based think-tank advocating for a sustainable economy, issued The Canadian Economic Rethink: At War with the Earth or Getting it Right? in partnership with the Council of Canadians. The report card’s authors – Dr. Brent Blackwelder, president emeritus of Friends of the Earth U.S., and Randy Hayes, founder of the Rainforest Action Network – have over 80 years of experience in international environmental policy.

“In past years we looked to Canada for leadership, especially when the U.S. was lapsing,” said Hayes. “Canada had a chance to be a renewable energy superpower and a world leader in sustainable economic development.”

“Unfortunately, the Harper government instead chose to develop some of the world’s most destructive energy projects,” said Blackwelder. “Our report shows that Canada’s economic model is now one to be avoided rather than applauded.”

The report card measures 16 categories of performance, highlighting nations that have initiated significant innovative action. It gives separate grades for Alberta and British Columbia, two of the provinces most affected by the resource boom. The provinces fared somewhat better than the federal government, suggesting that there’s still hope for some of Canada’s struggling students.

“This report card confirms that the Harper government has gutted environmental protection for its friends in the oil patch,” said Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “It’s behaving like a schoolyard bully, and that’s got to stop if we’re to regain our status as an international leader.”

Brent Blackwelder is president emeritus of Friends of the Earth U.S. and founding chairman of American Rivers. Randy Hayes is the founder and former executive director of the Rainforest Action Network. They recently formed Foundation Earth, an advocacy think tank working for a sustainable economy. Maude Barlow is the national chairperson of the Council of Canadians.

Note: The Canada report is the second in a series published by Foundation Earth. In the summer of 2012 the report entitled The Economic Rethink: Who Does it Well? highlighted Brazil’s poor record as the host to the twenty-year anniversary of the 1992 UN Earth Summit.

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