OTTAWA – ELECTION 2015 – Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (Saanich – Gulf Islands) issued the following statement on Stephen Harper’s absence from Arctic Climate Summit in Alaska:
“Stephen Harper’s absence from the Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic sends a clear message to Canadians that the Conservative government continues to ignore the single largest security threat to Canada. If foreign powers threatened to take as much territory from our Arctic as does the climate crisis, Harper would be mobilizing troops.
“Other than Russia, Canada is the only country of the seven circumpolar nations not sending a senior government representative to the meeting. What kind of message does that send to Canadians and the rest of the world? At the same time, the United Nations is meeting in Bonn to prepare for the climate summit in Paris (Aug 31-Sept 4). Canada appears to be a no-show there as well.”
“We must take immediate action to cut emissions and protect the Arctic. The shrinking glaciers, melting Arctic sea ice, and indigenous communities threatened by collapsing ground due to permafrost melt are issues that must be addressed on an urgent basis. The rapidly changing Arctic climate is a key indicator of global climate change — as well as being a driving force in the increasingly destabilized weather patterns.
“Harper would have us ignore climate as an election issue, while using the election as an excuse for ducking this critical meeting. He cannot have it both ways. Let’s debate climate – now!”