On the environment, Stephen Harper's record is appalling. Rick Smith summarizes the damage he has done:
The Fisheries Act no longer protects most fish.But ordering the audits of environmental charities may be the tipping point. And Smith speaks from experience:
The Navigable Waters Protection Act no longer protects most lakes and rivers.
The federal Environmental Assessment Act was repealed in its entirety and replaced with a law so cursory it might as well have been drafted on a cocktail napkin.
Canada remains the only country in the world that signed the Kyoto agreement on carbon pollution, only to withdraw from the treaty.
Even the impressive environmental achievements of previous Conservative governments have been dismantled, such as the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy.
I can tell you from personal experience (because I ran one of the country’s major environmental organizations for nearly 10 years) that, to a one, Canada’s environmental charities have always been extremely serious about complying with the letter and the spirit of CRA charitable rules. To have that sincere attempt thrown in its face by a tax agency that clearly isn’t playing straight has galvanized the environmental community in a way it never has been before.
Harper's attacks on his enemies have a way of boomeranging on him. And Smith believes that is precisely what is happening. Harper could well become a victim of his own war:
Of course it’s true that the obvious environmental impact of the Harper years will be measured in increased levels of pollution and real damage to precious land and waters. The less obvious and possibly longer lasting impact will be the creation of a country energized to decisively break with the failed environmental policies of the past in favour of a better future for us all.
It would be more than fitting if the prime minister sealed his own fate through the law of unintended consequences.