Senator Lang lets youth down

Senator Lang lets youth down On behalf of Yukon youth, we would like to express our profound shock and frustration with the Senate's decision to abolish the Climate Change Accountability Act (Bill C-311). Had it passed, Bill C-311 would have required th

On behalf of Yukon youth, we would like to express our profound shock and frustration with the Senate’s decision to abolish the Climate Change Accountability Act (Bill C-311).

Had it passed, Bill C-311 would have required the Canadian government to establish regulations to bring greenhouse gas emissions to 25 per cent below 1990 emissions-levels by 2020 and to set a long-term target of 80 per cent below 1990 emissions levels by 2050.

Now, Canada will enter international climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, next month with nothing new to offer but the pitiful target that it declared in Copenhagen last year: the equivalent of less than three per cent of 1990 emissions-levels by 2020.

Among the naysayers who opposed new targets was Yukon Senator Daniel Lang.

Lang voted against Bill C-311 before the Senate even had a chance to debate the issue Ð the first time that this has happened in almost 70 years.

The vote also marked only the second time since 1961 that the Senate has abolished a bill that was clearly supported by a majority of elected representatives in Canada’s legislature, including Yukon MP Larry Bagnell.

In September 2009, Yukon delegates to the Power Shift Youth Summit, a national conference on climate change, met with Bagnell in Ottawa specifically to seek his support for Bill C-311.

During this visit, the delegates stressed the serious effects of climate change in the North, and emphasized the concerns highlighted by northern youth at the Young Leaders Summit on Northern Climate Change, which was held in Inuvik, NWT, only weeks prior.

On May 5, Bagnell voted in favour of the bill, which passed by a margin of 149-136 in Canada’s House of Commons.

On November 16, Lang made the decision to negate Bagnell’s vote, effectively using his appointed position in the Upper House to trump the will of the Yukon electorate in the House of Commons.

Since the Senate’s vote, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has defended its decision by labelling the targets outlined in Bill C-311 as “irresponsible.”

Yet, it is the youth of today who will be forced to endure the impacts of climate change Ð and northerners sooner than most Ð and in our view there is nothing more irresponsible than Canada’s continued failure to adopt clear, responsible targets to guide our country in reducing its emissions.

Amber Church, executive director

Canadian Youth Climate Coalition

Rachel Parks, executive director

Bringing Youth Towards Equality (BYTE)

Dave Blottner, executive director

Boys and Girls Club of Whitehorse

Just Posted

Tagish dog rescue owner says she’s euthanized 10 dogs

Shelley Cuthbert said she put down 10 dogs after surrendering them to the animal health unit Feb. 15

Capstone prepares to sell Yukon’s Minto mine

‘We’re not buying this thing to close it down’

Broken hydrant floods Quartz Road

Leak might not be repaired until Feb. 19

Yukon’s alcohol label study back on but without a cancer warning

The Yukon government halted the program last year after concerns from industry

The North’s way of life is no match for social media’s prudish algorithms

Northerners now find their cultures under a new kind of puritan scrutiny

Most Canadians believe journalism plays critical role in democracy: poll

Survey suggests 94 per cent of Canadians feel journalism plays ‘important’ part

Team Yukon has strong showing at Whistler Super Youth and Timber Tour

‘Anwyn absolutely destroyed the competition’

Yukon skier turns in personal best at Junior World Championships

‘It was another great international racing experience’

Yukon child care deal to fund grandparents, courses for caregivers

‘How this is completely going to look, we’re still working on’

Full house for annual Native Bonspiel in Haines Junction

The 36th annual Yukon Native Bonspiel from Feb. 2 to 4 saw… Continue reading

Everything you need to know about wind chill

An Environment Canada warning preparedness meteorologist breaks down the winter value

The Fortymile was a dangerous river

Many miners died trying to traverse dangerous currents

Does the colour of your vehicle say something about your personality?

Red is flashy, black is sophisticated, blue is for wallflowers. Or so the thinking goes

Most Read