[Sust-mar] EAC Press Release 19 March 2009

Cheryl Ratchford energy at ecologyaction.ca
Thu Mar 19 10:25:07 EDT 2009


19 March 2009


Consideration for the Future Lacking in Province's Economic Stimulus


In Building for Growth, released March 11th, 2009 the province announced
plans to invest $1.9 billion in economic stimulus. Unfortunately this
announcement does not recognize sustainability which, according to the 2007
Economic Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act (EGSPA), is a priority for
Nova Scotia.  


In the stimulus package, $50 million was allocated to energy conservation.
This appears to be the only "green" spending. Measured in terms of a
percentage of the overall three year spending, $50 million is just 2.6 per
cent of the total. "Our energy infrastructure needs transformation. A lack
of financial and policy support for the renewable energy sector is
unacceptable." says Cheryl Ratchford, Energy Coordinator at the Ecology
Action Centre (EAC).


"We had hoped that green principles would color all spending, instead we got
a dab of green," says Mark Butler, Policy Director at the EAC. "Our message
all along has been to consider this an opportunity to address both
environmental and economic priorities".


EGSPA has the twin goals of having one of the cleanest and most sustainable
environments in the world by 2020 and achieving strong economic performance
equal to or above the Canadian average. The March 11th economic stimulus
package is not informed by the EGSPA approach.


Nova Scotia must shift away from a reliance on fossil fuels if it is to meet
its greenhouse gas emission reduction target of 10 per cent below 1990
levels by 2020 and spur local economic community development. As this is the
most pressing goal in EGSPA, meeting this commitment should have garnered
additional dollars. Since it did not, the EAC must question the Conservative
Government's commitment to the goal and its vision for the long-term health
of the province.


Building for Growth allocates $1 billion to the building of roads, bridges,
and highways. In 2007, the Government of Nova Scotia seemed to recognize
that economic prosperity is linked to environmental sustainability. However,
the connection between these two goals has been replaced by a desire to
build bigger, better roads. This "solution" to the global economic downturn
is inconsistent with previous statements made by the Premier. In September
of 2008, Premier MacDonald signed a commitment to shift 10 per cent of the
region's freight to rail. Though this commitment is not legally binding and
refers to the area encompassed by the entire New England States-Eastern
Canadian Provinces region, an investment in Nova Scotia's highway system
seems at odds with this.


"Nova Scotian roads need an injection of infrastructure spending but
building additional highways will only require addition investment in the
long term," says TRAX coordinator Jen Powley. "Twinning highways is not the




For further information, please contact: 

Transportation Coordinator Jen Powley, W: 902.429.0924, H: 902.425.8363

Energy Coordinator Cheryl Ratchford, W: 902.442.0199, C: 902.441.7047


More information about the sust-mar mailing list