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We're Only In It For The Money: Morally Bankrupt Canada's Slow Descent Into Pariah Status

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Message Mike Cowie
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Seriously, it was really terrific to see the world once again step up to the plate and forcefully say "Let's do nothing". Just like at the U.N. climate change conference in Copenhagen a few months back.

Consistent To A Fault

The one thing you can say about this Stephen Harper-led government is that it is quite consistent. That is, when it comes to the environment our government is consistently opposed to doing anything concrete to make things better. Not if it'll cost us a thing economically.

Four years ago it was a ban on bottom trawling that our country took a bold, strong stand against. And it was an especially brave stand when you consider that the world's fish stocks are forecast to disappear by the year 2050 and that bottom trawling is considered one of the main contributing causes.

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Why would Canada not care about such a thing, you ask? Well, simply put, because Canada's fishing fleet still makes big profits off of bottom trawling, of course.

Even George W. Bush, of all people, supported that ban. And it really takes a lot to have George W. Bush make you look like a heartless environmental degrader. But that's exactly what happened.

In fact, in recent years many things about Canada's environmental record have been making America's record look quite good in comparison.

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For instance, at this very same CITES conference this week Canada voted against a U.S. proposal to ban the international sale of polar bears skins, another animal on the decline that it seems Canada cares little about.

Then there's the collapsing Fraser River sockeye salmon population, a collapse linked by many scientists to the fish farms dotting the B.C. coast. Fish farms, it should be noted, that the government seems to consider untouchable.

I'm starting to wonder whether there's any ban this country would support, at least if there was a buck to be made in opposing it.

Of course, the most glaring of all this country's environmental crimes is the lack of government control, or even concern, when it comes to that infamous, globally-despised wasteland known as the oil sands (the single largest contributor to our title as "The World's Worst Per Capita Climate Change Polluters" - and what a magnificent title that is!).

Canada's overall environmental record may rank as the worst among the G-8 nations, and the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) may have recently ranked Canada as the "worst climate performer amongst [the] top 10 greenhouse gas emitters" and "56th out of 57 countries evaluated, ahead of only Saudi Arabia", but who really cares since, as Dave Chappelle playing Rick James on Chappelle's Show would say, "We're rich, b*tch!"

Jaded Japan

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Sure, you can say Japan, which imports 80 per cent of the Atlantic bluefin catch and has led the opposition to the ban, is the main villain in this whole tuna story, but, let's face it, Japan has long been a joke when it comes to anything involving conservation and the sea.

After all, Japan's government is, at this very minute, allowing its school kids to be fed toxic mercury-laced dolphin meat labeled as "whale" (as was discussed in last year's great documentary The Cove).

We're also talking about the same government that is ferocious in its commitment to slaughtering a thousand or more whales every year in the name of "research". Research that has absolutely no scientific value.

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Mike Cowie is a 42-year-old freelance writer, who lives together with his wife and son just outside of Vancouver, B.C. After spending 15 years living, travelling and working overseas Mike returned to live in Canada back in 2004. His final trip, (more...)
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