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REF NO.: 15

SUBJECT: Memorial sociologist co-signs open letter to leaders on climate change

DATE: Oct. 8

Memorial University sociologist Dr. Mark Stoddart is joining a group of more than 60 researchers from across Canada in releasing an analysis of the federal political parties’ positions on 10 key policy orientations on climate change.

“The Sustainable Canada Dialogues network has assessed the policy platforms of all five main parties in order to help provide voters decide who best represents them as we move from the election to the Paris Climate Conference meetings from Nov. 30-Dec. 11,” said Dr. Stoddart.

“As our party platform assessment clearly shows, the parties have different environmental strengths and weaknesses. While none of the parties aligns completely with the Sustainable Canada Dialogues climate change action plan, the party platforms clearly show that all parties except for the Conservatives promise important steps towards climate change mitigation, lower-carbon energy systems and more participatory forms of environmental decision-making.”

Dr. Stoddart and his colleagues across Canada evaluated the Conservatives, Liberals, New Democratic Party, Bloc and Green Party on the following 10 orientations:

  • Put a price on carbon
  • Include aggressive goals for low-carbon electricity production in federal and provincial climate action plans
  • Integrate the oil and gas production sector in climate politics
  • Adapt a multi-level energy policy with energy efficiency and co-operation in electrification at its core
  • Throughout Canada, rapidly adapt low-carbon translation strategies
  • Integrate landscape, land use, transportation and energy infrastructure planning policies at multiple scales to ensure climate change mitigation
  • Support evolution of the building sector toward a carbon neutral or carbon-positive sector
  • Safeguard biodiversity and water equality during Canada’s transition to a low-carbon society, while aiming for net positive approaches
  • Support fisheries, forestry and agriculture practices offering opportunities to limit greenhouse gas emissions, enhance carbon sequestration, protect biological diversity and water quality
  • Facilitate the transition to a low-carbon sustainable society through the implementation of more participatory and open governance institutions.

The Sustainable Canada Dialogues network has sent an open letter to all federal party leaders urging them to develop a national dialogue on climate change policy and to identify socially acceptable transition pathways to a low carbon society and economy.

The group will launch the new report, Acting on Climate Change, Extending the Dialogue Among Canadians, on Thursday, Oct. 8, in Toronto, Ont. The report includes 28 papers from a range of sectors, including First Nations, business, labour and non-governmental organizations.

“In an election campaign that has become increasingly about divisiveness and fear of others, I hope that this initiative by the Sustainable Canada Dialogues can help shift the debate back towards which party offers the best positive vision for Canada, which will allow us to take a leading role internationally in moving towards more environmentally sustainable and inclusive societies,” said Dr. Stoddart.


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For more information, please contact Dr. Mark Stoddart at or 709-864-8862. More information on the Sustainable Canada Dialogues network can be found at and on Twitter at @Dialogsustainab.



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