As the provincial election draws near, Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, and New Democrats are busy pointing fingers at each other over the state of the province’s eroding coastline and the current government’s failed plan to reduce clear cutting by half. If one thing is made evident by the tone of these political debates, it’s that Nova Scotians have a vested interest in the province’s environmental future. According to the NDP leader, Gary Burrill, the fact that the Liberals failed to implement changes in order to protect Nova Scotia’s forests from further clearcut harvesting or appropriately punish those responsible for contaminating our waters shows their unmotivated response to climate change.
Issue #1: Water Pollution
The Nova Scotia coastline is disappearing into the water at an alarming rate. Rising sea levels brought on by rapid climate change and intense weather conditions (such as this year’s heavy rains) are all contributing factors. There are measures to mitigate the rate of erosion, as outlined in the premier’s Coastal Protection Act, but other party leaders are not so confident that anything will come of it, citing Liberal leader Stephen McNeil’s failed response to several water pollution issues in Halifax.
Issue #2: Clearcutting
Another political pledge made by NDP leader to the environmentally sensitive audience is the promise to reduce the clearcutting of Nova Scotia forests by 50 percent, which is something they claim the current government promised to carry out but have not yet implemented. According to last year’s survey, clearcutting accounted for 90 percent of forest harvesting in the province, something which policy makers, environmentalists, scientists and forestry workers agree is counterintuitive to forestry sustainability.
Both environmental issues will increasingly impact the way of life for many Nova Scotians. While independent environmental groups, such as the Ecology Action Centre, welcome every party’s plans to address coastal erosion and develop more sustainable timber harvesting methods, what we all seem to be waiting for is the future provincial leader to put his money where his mouth is.
To learn more about how H.C. Haynes is doing its part to implement sustainable forestry measures, contact us today.