Sustainable Development and Canada

Sustainable Development and Canada: National and International Perspectives

O.P. DWIVEDI
PATRICK KYBA
PETER J. STOETT
REBECCA TIESSEN
Copyright Date: 2001
Pages: 343
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/j.ctt2tv0fb
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Sustainable Development and Canada
    Book Description:

    This book investigates the complexities of Canadian environmental policy.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-0298-4
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. 7-8)
    O.P. Dwivedi, J.P. Kyba, P. Stoett and R. Tiessen
  4. PART ONE: STRUCTURE

    • ONE ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS AND POLICY
      (pp. 11-22)

      This book is designed to introduce you to the complexities of Canadian environmental policy. This is no easy task, since there are many issues to cover. Moreover, there are numerous perspectives on how best to explain the course of action taken by successive Canadian governments over the years. While concern for the environment is no longer new, and is firmly established as a necessary policy item, it remains subservient to economic interests in the Canadian setting. As such, it is difficult to ascertain where industrial or natural resource policy stops, and “pure” environmental policy begins. We make the assumption, then,...

    • TWO THE STATE OF CANADA’S ENVIRONMENT
      (pp. 23-44)

      Canada is consistently ranked as one of the best places in the world to live by the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI). In fact, Canada ranked number one out of 174 countries on this index between 1993 and 2000. Reasons for this acclaim include Canada’s wealth of natural resources, diverse ecological spaces, and pristine natural environments. The environment is of central importance to Canadians; Canada's wealth of natural resources and natural environments provides both economic prospects and leisure opportunities. Canada is a large country and home to diverse ecological landscapes characterized by an abundance of fresh water, coastal waters,...

    • THREE THE CANADIAN POLITICAL SYSTEM AND THE ENVIRONMENT
      (pp. 45-78)

      Solutions to all the major problems referred to in the previous chapter ultimately lie in the realm of politics. Despite the fact that some of these problems may be largely scientific in nature, others “economic,” and others still “philosophic” or “moral,” in the end all require political decisions to deal with them and to specify the type and timing of the solutions attempted. Thus, the environment must compete for attention and resources with other issues of public concern, and environmentalists must confront several political realities in attempting to achieve their goals. To understand this fully, it is necessary to know...

    • FOUR ACTORS: FROM PARTIES TO PROTESTORS
      (pp. 79-102)

      The previous chapter introduced the structures involved in environmental policy-making, and detailed the evolution of Environment Canada as the principal national governmental organization. This chapter will focus more explicitly on the many other actors, often referred to as “agents,” involved in environmental policy decision-making, including the state, political parties, non-state actors, and the media. However, given the large number of individuals involved in environmental policy formation, implementation, and debate, we have limited the discussion to the principal collective agents; in other words, we deal here with groups of people who converge in their political activity out of concern for the...

    • FIVE THE TRANSNATIONAL CONTEXT
      (pp. 103-120)

      On December 20, 2000, John Manley, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced the appointment of long-time parliamentarian Gilbert Parent to the post of Canada’s “Ambassador for the Environment.” His responsibilities will be to represent the ministers of Foreign Affairs and the Environment at international environmental negotiations and meetings. Such a post would have been unthinkable a mere 20 years ago; but with the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development fast approaching, it now seems quite essential.

      There are at least two ways international factors play an increasingly significant role in environmental policy questions. As mentioned in the previous chapter, the...

  5. PART TWO: POLICY

    • SIX ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS AND REGULATION
      (pp. 123-150)

      In Chapters 3 and 4, the basic structures and processes of the Canadian political system were outlined. Chapter 7 will discuss specific policy responses to challenges posed by environmental hazards, such as toxic wastes, and the need to evaluate the potential environmental impact of development projects. However, in order to understand in a meaningful way the formulation and implementation of environmental laws and regulatory policy in Canada, it is necessary to briefly examine the regulatory process as well.

      Regulations are designed to modify human behaviour. In other words, governments regulate in order to make people behave in a prescribed manner...

    • SEVEN ENVIRONMENTAL RISK ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT
      (pp. 151-188)

      Driving along the Trans-Canada highway near Kenora, Ontario, on April 13, 1985, four members of the Eyjolfson family came up behind a flatbed transport truck carrying four hydro-electric transformers. For nearly 25 kilometres their car trailed the truck as they headed westward. As the truck manouevred around corners, a black oily substance splashed from one of the transformers, covering the Toyota’s windshield and air vents, and leaving a black trail along the road. At a Kenora gas station, Mr. Eyjolfson asked the truck driver if he should be concerned about the spill, but the driver responded, “No problem, it’s just...

    • EIGHT INTERNATIONAL COMMITMENTS
      (pp. 189-218)

      In Chapter Five, we discussed the transnational context in which contemporary environmental policy is made. Indeed, environmental diplomacy has become a cottage industry in its own right, involving both highly visible summitry and the more mundane, day-to-day coordination that takes place between states and through international organizations. Most states have signed a number of international agreements dealing with conservation, biodiversity, atmospheric pollution, and a variety of other issues, and Canada is no exception. This chapter will examine Canada’s regional agreements, both continental and Arctic, and then discuss global commitments resulting from summit diplomacy and regime-building.

      There are a number of...

    • NINE CANADA’S SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES
      (pp. 219-236)

      Sustainable development is an important concept in environmental policy-making. Policy-makers in Canada were quick to adopt the language and rhetoric of sustainable development. However, the relevance of sustainable development as a “new paradigm for decision-making” and its potential to challenge “existing decision-making practices” are thwarted by a diminishing supply of the resources required to translate policies into action. This chapter examines the challenges to the implementation of sustainable development policies as well as the opportunities that these policies offer to Canadians and to Canada’s international activities. On August 31, 2000, theGlobe and Mailfeatured an article on the front...

  6. PART THREE: ETHICS & VALUES

    • TEN GENDER, RESOURCES, AND THE ENVIRONMENT
      (pp. 239-256)

      In Clayoquot Sound on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, women activists protested the clear-cutting of the rainforest. During the protests, many women risked arrest or were arrested, including Sue Fraser, a 71-year-old grandmother. The Clayoquot story gained a great deal of media attention and resulted in the largest civil disobedience action in Canadian history in defence of public land. In Sydney, Nova Scotia, women were at the forefront of the activism to clean up the Sydney tar ponds and to relocate those families who suffered from illnesses believed to be caused by toxic chemicals dumped in the area. As one woman...

    • ELEVEN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, HUMAN SECURITY, AND CIVIL SOCIETY
      (pp. 257-272)

      This section on values would be incomplete without a closer examination of three key concepts which have emerged in the transnational context of ecopolitics introduced in Chapter 5 and which resurfaced in the preceding two chapters as well: sustainable development, human security, and civil society. Although traditional international relations have been largely fixated on the security of the nation, or the state, in recent years we have seen a shift in official focus towards the security of the individual. This applies to Canadians and non-Canadians alike, but the very term “human security” is not without controversy, since many reject the...

    • TWELVE ENVIRONMENTAL VALUES AND ETHICS
      (pp. 273-304)

      Ecology, a term derived from the Greek work “oikos,” meaning “home” or “household,” is concerned with the totality of relationships between living organisms and their living (biotic) and non-living (abiotic) surroundings. The word “home” is meant to convey the notion that all components of nature are integral to its functioning, just as the various activities of people in the home are integral to the functioning of the household as a whole. In essence, ecology deals with the interconnections and the balance of nature. However, the term “ecology” has been used by natural scientists to denote a sub-discipline of zoology which...

    • THIRTEEN CONCLUSION: TOWARD SUSTAINABLE INDIVIDUAL AND GOVERNMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY
      (pp. 305-310)

      At this point, we offer a brief summary of the contents of this book. The first chapter introduced the two fields of environmental and political science, and argued that the two meet in the exciting subfield of ecopolitics. We also outlined some of the main concerns we would deal with in subsequent chapters, and the structure of the book. In Part One of the text, we were chiefly concerned with providing a rough guideline for understanding the natural, administrative, and political context in which environmental policy decisions are made. This necessitated a quick overview of the state of the Canadian...

  7. REFERENCES
    (pp. 311-328)
  8. INDEX
    (pp. 329-343)