Gord Miller is the Green Party of Canada's Infrastructure & Community Development Critic and former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario.
Gord Miller is an ecologist and environmental policy analyst with many years of experience in the private sector and public service. From 2000-2015, he served as the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. In the 2015 election, he was a candidate for the Green Party of Canada in Guelph and is the Party's Infrastructure and Community Development Critic.
I have now realized that most economists operate under a very different concept of the nature of atmospheric carbon then ecologists like myself. Their paradigm turns any and all carbon into a market commodity to be manipulated by price and economic tools. They don't share the ecologist's concern that such a simplistic model can lead to truly dangerous and perverse public policy.
How is it that the national debate is not about bitumen and the future markets for that commodity? Instead, people drone on about pipelines, an abstraction of the petroleum production. The mantra has become: "If we build them, money will come." But will it? Is the world market price for bitumen so attractive that success is assured if we can only get it to tide-water? The answer is simple: No.
The most pressing environmental policy problem facing Canada is the possible ratification of the "trade deal" known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The investor protection provisions (called the Investor State Dispute Settlement mechanism, or ISDS) in that agreement presents a major threat to environmental protection in Canada. Let me tell you why.