Cooperation between Arctic stakeholders is crucial for each country's success in dealing with climate change. We are in a new era of sustainable development as the Arctic presents us with major opportunities and major responsibilities. Cooperation is the only tool to ensure ethical, social, and ecological sustainable development.
I understand that PETA brings in about $30 million annually, the Humane Society of the U.S. collects more than $100 million and their executives make six-figure salaries. They and other groups like the International Fund for Animal Welfare are clamouring for this easy target. Who could blame them? After all, it is good money in a competitive charitable market.
Though the atmosphere has apparently stabilized and winter will soon be gone for yet another year, for millions of people, this is no time to breathe easy. In the next few weeks, a new kind of trouble will emerge. Dubbed the 'pollen vortex' this rare springtime phenomenon will leave allergy sufferers just as miserable and clambering for the indoors.
Canada's natural gas extraction is not an issue that will be resolved quickly. While this conflict between short term economic benefit, and sustainability or responsible behavior continues in Canada, there is a comparatively simple positive step we could take to help counter the negative history currently being inscribed in the annals of time. Many of Canada's mountains are still intact or relatively environmentally healthy.
Arctic Defenders, my 20th film is about the creation of Nunavut. The film demonstrates that political engagement was necessary to protect Inuit rights. It is told from the point of view of the visionary Inuit leaders, Tagak Curley and John Amagoalik and others who dedicated their lives to protecting the language, culture and environment of their homeland -- the Canadian Arctic.
The IPCC Report was in the news for a couple of days and then disappeared from mass media news cycle. This is the largest crisis humanity has ever faced: Life on earth hangs in the balance. And yet the media attention given to Miley Cyrus twerking was infinitely greater than the coverage of the IPCC report.
This time last year, the world watched as the Arctic melt hit a record low and more ice disappeared than ever before. On September 15 Greenpeace has called for an international day of action to bring together the millions of people who have spoken up to protect the Arctic. Large-scale, family friendly bike rides -- we call them Ice Rides -- are being organized across the globe.
In Dawson City, one step away from the arctic circle, we are working to promote more local food production. Here, more than anywhere else, food matters. We are at the end of the road and conditions are quite crude. Food here is expensive, but mostly fresh, which is already a huge improvement compared to 100 years ago.
In the wake of the 2010 BP Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, our government needs to make changes to our outdated liability regime. Currently, the Canadian taxpayer is liable for offshore oil spills in the Arctic. Under current law, an oil company is responsible for damages up to $40 million of absolute liability, regardless of fault or negligence. Beyond the $40 million, it is either Canadian taxpayers or the company paying, depending on fault. Why are we providing public insurance for oil companies? We do not provide public insurance for homeowners in the case of a fire, or car owners in the case of a motor vehicle accident.
During this past week Arctic sea ice retreated to all-time lows, shattering the previous record set in 2007 by an area roughly the size of (ironically) Alberta. This past week, the much-anticipated new and improved federal regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired electricity plants leaked out. To no one's surprise, they are significantly weakened from what we had been told to expect.
This month I visited the northernmost region in my riding, Nunavik, and met with people from all walks of life there. Trips like those give you a real reality check that some politicians go out of their way to avoid. Last week the Prime Minister had a chance to begin listening to the people of the North, but instead he stayed inside his bubble. Clearly, this is work that Conservatives cannot properly do.