Grades handed out by environmental group
By Brian Flinn - Transcontinental Media
Cape Breton Post
Tuesday, July 22, 2003
HALIFAX - The Hamm government's
green record took a
beating and its green plan did
little better Monday when the
Nova Scotia Environmental Network
released its pre-election survey.
The Tories scored a D-minus,
the NDP got an A and the Liberals
passed with a C in a report
card on how the parties plan to
handle 16 issues heading into
the Aug. 5 vote.
Elizabeth May of the Sierra
Club of Canada said John
Hamm's Conservatives have
paid little attention to the wishes
of local communities when it
it came to issues like the Digby
Neck quarry and the Sydney
"The last four years have
ben appalling, and without
question, the worst we have
ever experienced," she told
more than 100 environmentalists
gathered at a Halifax hotel.
Premier John Hamm said the
government has tried to balance
Hamm did not show up himself at
the report-card announcement,
sending Dartmouth North candidate
Jane MacKay to speak for the Tories.
MacKay said the government
hasn't made everyone happy in
the last four years, but has made
progress, such as putting solar
panels on new schools.
"Would I say it's appalling?
Personally no, but am I as
informed as Elizabeth May?
No," she said. MacKay said she
hopes environmental issues
will move up the Conservative
priority list in a second term.
Halifax Atlantic Liberal candidate
Ian MacKinnon said he
was disappointed his party only
got a C. He said the Liberals
should get extra points for credibility,
because they wrote the
Environment Act and designated
the province's 31 protected
areas in the 1990s. He noted the
province is committed to
protecting 80 representative ecological
zones, but the Tories did
nothing to protect additional
areas until a few days before
calling the election, when they
promised to add two more to
the list. The Liberals got high
marks on protected areas, but
fared worse on forestry, transportation
Halifax Chebucto NDP candidate
Howard Epstein called
both Liberal and Tory records
"disgraceful." He said the best
way to protect jobs is to ensure
industries like the forestry and
fisheries are sustainable. An
NDP government would hold
more full-scale environmental
reviews of controversial projects.
Epstein said his party can
still improve its environmental
record. "I vow to you that we
can and will do better," he said.
MacKinnon noted that the environment
was not mentioned in the NDP's seven