State of the Environment
Canadians care deeply about the quality of the environment and the protection of nature. A 2007 Decima poll showed that Canadians were more concerned about the environment than about healthcare. A 2009 poll from Nanos found that in the context of the potential prosperity from oil sands versus the potential environmental harm, most Canadians put environmental protection above economic prosperity. Even the current recession has not dampened Canadians’ ardour for environmental protection: An Ipsos-Reid poll in February 2009 found that 57 per cent of the public favoured aggressive actions on climate change despite the economic situation.
Canadians have a great deal to celebrate when it concerns their environment. Over the past 30 years, Canada has cleaned up its air and water, preserved ecosystems and timberlands and protected the soils that feed not only its people but also many others worldwide. This has occurred while Canada’s population and economy has grown strongly, and it has propelled Canada, a country of only 33 million, to the status of a global economic powerhouse with a standard of living that is the envy of much of the world. Of course, there is still more that can be done to protect and optimize the use of Canada’s mighty environmental endowment, but Canada is well on the way toward environmental sustainability.