Natural Resources cuts bad for economy, environment: NDP
Harper Conservatives allow Canada to fall behind on clean energy investments
OTTAWA - New Democrats are condemning the Harper Conservatives for slashing environment-friendly programs and jobs at Natural Resources Canada.
“It seems government officials got a memo to slash anything clean or green – or that even has the word, ‘eco’ in it,” said NDP Natural Resources critic Claude Gravelle, reacting to news of new cuts at the department.
In addition to cutting the hugely popular ecoENERGY Retrofit program, the department is cutting back on the Clean Air Agenda, ecoTRANSPORT Strategy, Canada’s Forest Sector Initiative, as well as cutting grants to Sustainable Development Technology Canada.
“Its utter nonsense for the government to pretend these cuts won’t adversely affect public services or the environment. It’s night and day to compare Stephen Harper’s inaction against what President Obama is doing. While our government stands idly by, Americans are talking about developing renewable energy that’s cleaner, cheaper and creates jobs.”
In his State of the Union address Tuesday, Obama said federal investments had helped double reserves of renewable energy, creating thousands of jobs.
“Energy efficiency initiatives are crucial for both Canada’s environment and its economy,” said Anne Marie Day (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles), a member of the Natural Resources Committee. “Federal support for home energy efficiency retrofits makes good economic and environmental sense. It can help curb energy consumption, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create local jobs while providing Canadians with permanent savings on their home energy bills.”