Innovation, Science, Environment 08/09

Innovation, Science, Environment 08/09: Canadian Policies and Performance, 2008-2009

Edited by GLEN TONER
Copyright Date: 2008
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Innovation, Science, Environment 08/09
    Book Description:

    Rapidly developing changes in technology, scientific knowledge, and domestic and international environmental issues force analysts to constantly reevaluate how public policy is coping. Are governments leading, following, or falling behind other societal actors? This third volume in a series of annual assessments of Canadian public policy provides an innovative approach to evaluating key developments in one of the most challenging areas of public policy in the twenty-first century. Leading experts look at crucial issues such as climate change, sustainable development policy tools, science management, and the international approach to governing intellectual property. They address recent developments within the pesticide, wildlife, and infrastructure policy areas involving the federal government and key private and non-governmental players. The 2008-09 volume explores the role of governments in a number of key areas, showing that while government institutions and policies should be part of the solution to the complex array of science and technology and environment and development issues facing Canadians, too often it appears they are part of the problem. Contributors include Glen Toner (Carleton), Robert Paehlke (Trent), Mark Jaccard and Rose Murphy (Simon Fraser), Jac van Beek (Canada Foundation for Innovation) and Frances Issaacs (National Research Council of Canada), Sara Bannerman (Carleton), Robert Gibson (Waterloo), David Robinson (Laurentian), Francois Bregha (Stratos Inc.), Scott Findlay and Annick Dezeil (Ottawa), Robert Hilton and Christopher Stoney (Carleton), and Jeremy Wilson (Victoria).

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-7508-0
    Subjects: General Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-2)
    Glen Toner
  4. 1 The Harper Minority Government and ISE: Second Year – Second Thoughts
    (pp. 3-29)

    The first two editions of this volume documented the transition of ISE policies from the Martin minority government to the Harper minority government. The majority of chapters in the first two editions were on the challenges associated with innovation and science. The majority of the chapters in this third volume are on environment. This shift in focus parallels the interesting transformation of environmental issues in the first 20 months of the Harper government. Upon arriving in power the Conservatives showed little interest and even less capacity to address the environment and sustainable development file. A junior Environment minister was appointed...

  5. 2 Missing the Opportunity: A Decade of Sustainable Development Strategies
    (pp. 30-52)

    In 1995, the Canadian Parliament amended the Auditor General Act to require most federal departments to prepare a comprehensive sustainable development strategy (SDS) within two years and update it every three years thereafter. The purpose of these strategies is to “… outline concrete goals and action plans for integrating sustainable development into … policies, programs and operations” and “provide a benchmark against which progress towards sustainable development will be measured.”²

    The amendment to the Auditor General Act raised high expectations when it was introduced into the House of Commons: sustainable development had been one of the four themes in the...

  6. 3 Making a Better World, One Undertaking at a Time: Sustainability Assessment and Innovative Decision Making in Canada
    (pp. 53-73)

    In August 2004, three authorities jointly announced the appointment of a new environmental assessment panel.¹ The seven-member Joint Review Panel for the Mackenzie Gas Project would review and hold public hearings on a new proposal for pipelines and associated gas gathering facilities in the Mackenzie valley of the Northwest Territories. Along with the appointment notice and biographies of the Panel members, the authorities released the Panel’s terms of reference.² It all seemed more or less as expected and media coverage was light. The business press had been covering the rise of the project for some time. With a $7.5 billion...

  7. 4 Why Smart Growth Isn’t Working: An Examination of Ottawa’s Failure to Deliver Sustainable Urban Transit
    (pp. 74-92)

    In a recently published paper, the authors outlined the chain of events and issues that led to the demise of Ottawa’s proposed system for Light Rail Transit.¹ In that paper we focused on the political, economic and governance factors that killed the project and left the City with sunk costs of $73 million and a legal claim for a further $170 million from Siemens, the company selected to build and maintain the project. In addition to analyzing these issues further, our main aim in this chapter is to explore the broader implications for the City’s strategy for “smart growth” development....

  8. 5 The Social Foundations for Sustainability: Carbon, Creativity and the Failure of Canadian Forestry Strategy
    (pp. 93-111)

    The most remarkable aspect of the policy regime for Northern Ontario is its astonishing failure in the second half of the 20th century to convert the enormous natural resource base into viable economic development in the region. Building on the forest resource is the only available development strategy for Northern Ontario. Expanding value-added production is virtually the definition of building on the resource base. The failure to make a transition from commodity production to wood-based value-added production in Northern Ontario is the key economic policy issue for the region.

    In the absence of growth in secondary wood industry, labour-replacing technological...

  9. 6 Sticks, Carrots, and Sermons (and Workshops, too): Environment Canada and Calls for a Robust Bird Conservation Toolkit
    (pp. 112-131)

    Since we know more about birds than most other classes of organisms, we often use avian population trends as a basis for inferences about what is happening to biological diversity in general.¹ In Canada, as elsewhere, the signs are ominous. In itsWild Species 2005report, the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council estimates that 13 per cent of the 653 bird species that have been found in Canada are either extinct, extirpated, or in “not secure” categories (endangered, at risk, or “may be at risk”).² The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) currently lists 70 birds...

  10. 7 Uncertainty, Precaution, and Adaptive Management in Canadian Pesticide Regulation
    (pp. 132-150)

    The societal commitment to safeguarding the broad public interest in environment and public health must often be pursued within the confines of administrative and regulatory decision-making bodies. In Canada, such institutions have been legislatively charged with particular responsibilities over a broad range of issues, from new drugs to toxic substances to natural resources. The diversity of subject domains notwithstanding, all share the common element of scientific uncertainty. To address uncertainty and the potential for unanticipated adverse consequences, several general prescriptive principles have been advanced. Notable amongst these are the precautionary principle (PP) and the principle of adaptive management (PAM), the...

  11. 8 Geological Carbon Storage: The Roles of Government and Industry in Risk Management
    (pp. 151-167)

    Carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) offers the promise that humanity can continue to enjoy the benefits of fossil fuel use, while reducing its impact on the global climate. Carbon dioxide (CO₂) would be captured from large point sources that burn fossil fuels such as power plants, hydrogen production plants, and industrial facilities. It would then be compressed and transported by pipeline or ship to a location suitable for long-term storage. CO₂ can be stored in onshore or offshore geological formations or in the ocean; through industrial processes it can also be fixed into mineral carbonates. Geological CCS is the...

  12. 9 Climate Change and Canada: Beyond Tomorrow
    (pp. 168-189)

    Canada’s climate change commitments require urgent action that produces rapid results. Canada’s carbon emissions could still be reduced in the short term, though given a decade of delays that might be characterized as denial and dithering, meeting Canada’s 2012 Kyoto target will almost certainly be out of reach by the time this chapter is published.¹ Nonetheless, relatively quick gains could be achieved by phasing out Ontario’s coal-fired power plants, mandating rapid energy efficiency improvements especially in the retail and commercial sector, subsidizing public transit fares even to levels that are normal in cities in the United States, declaring a moratorium...

  13. 10 The Development Agenda at WIPO: Where Is Canada?
    (pp. 190-208)

    The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has long acted as the international heart of intellectual property law.¹ WIPO was established as a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) in 1970, and its institutional predecessors date back to the 1880s. One hundred and seventy-one countries currently subscribe to WIPO’sBerne Conventionon copyright (established in 1886), which ensures that a copyright-holder’s rights in one country will be recognized in another. Similarly, WIPO’sParis Convention(established in 1883) has created an international system of patent protection. WIPO is also the administrative centre of the world intellectual property system, housing the international...

  14. 11 Convergence and Science Management
    (pp. 209-232)

    Convergence and science management examines the need for stronger management of science and technology (S&T) at both the enterprise and national innovation system levels, given the emerging phenomenon of converging scientific fields. It is important to recognize that the phenomenon is a natural one, driven by curiosity and the quest for knowledge rather than engineered or imposed by organizations or governments. As scientists and engineers look world wide to other fields beyond their own disciplines to solve fundamental or technical problems, their evolved discipline-specific management structures begin to break down. While convergence can be seen as a desired unification of...

  15. Contributors
    (pp. 233-235)