Question Period (15 November 2006)
From Hansard - 15 November 2006
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Progress of Green Strategy
Mr. Hart: — Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, we hear much from this government about Saskatchewan being a green and prosperous economy. They like to talk a lot about being green. In last year’s Speech from the Throne, Mr. Speaker, they — this government — talked about a green strategy. They had held meetings across the province with many groups across the province, and they had this master plan. That was according to last year’s Speech from the Throne.
Yet in this year’s Speech from the Throne we don’t hear anything about the green strategy, Mr. Speaker. I wonder if the Minister of the Environment . . . The Minister of the Environment said the other day in his ministerial statement that, he said, when the green strategy is finally completed there’s going to be some great things. We’re wondering when that green strategy, if it will ever see the light of day, Mr. Speaker.
Hon. Mr. Nilson: — Mr. Speaker, the Throne Speech this year builds on the campaign from 2003 where we talked about a green and prosperous economy. And, Mr. Speaker, we have been working around green issues right from that time and we’re continuing to do that.
Mr. Speaker, we will end up with a overall green strategy which we will present to the public based on the work that was done by my predecessor through all of the consultations last year, through the work that we’re doing this year. And, Mr. Speaker, it’s going to be informed by the very good work by the member from Saskatoon and the work that he’s doing around the energy conservation issues.
And, Mr. Speaker, what we will do is continue on the strong track that this party and this government has as we make Saskatchewan an even greener place to live.
Mr. Hart: — This is the same sort of answers we’ve been getting, and the people of this province have been getting about the green strategy for well over two years. There’s a term in the environmental groups that they use to justify, describe when governments talk a lot about doing green things but really there’s no action. They call it greenwashing, and that’s what we get from this government. There’s nothing but greenwashing. There’s talk that someday we’re going to do something, but there’s no action.
We’ve seen a change in minister. We’ve seen changes in deputy ministers. And yet the minister says someday the people of this province are going to see the green strategy that will deal with things like waste management and multi-material stewardship programs. When is that minister going really to bring a plan forward, Mr. Speaker?
Hon. Mr. Nilson: — Mr. Speaker, this is a very curious series of questions because, Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition has distributed a pamphlet in Saskatoon where they set out what the Sask Party is going to do for Saskatchewan. There’s not a single discussion of any environmental issue in this summary. There’s not a single thing in here that talks about the environment.
Now, Mr. Speaker, we know from the polling in the last two or three weeks that environment issues have moved right up behind health as a concern for Canadians. And I think, Mr. Speaker, they’re starting to realize that they’re down the wrong track. It’s very clear at the federal government level that their colleagues have had great difficulty in responding to what Canadians see as very important about green issues. Mr. Speaker, we’re going to do that as a government just as we’ve said all through the terms of our office here in Saskatchewan.
Mr. Hart: — Mr. Speaker, the minister talked about polling, and I can assure that minister and those members that the polls tell us that we are on the right track, Mr. Speaker. The poll this summer in Weyburn-Big Muddy said we are on the right track, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker, but what are the environmental groups saying about this government? They’re saying they don’t have a plan. That Saskatchewan on a per capita basis has the highest greenhouse gas emissions and this so-called green government has no plan to deal with any of that, Mr. Speaker. When will they finally quit talking about it and actually do something?
Hon. Mr. Nilson: — Mr. Speaker, it’s been quite a number of days in this legislature — in fact basically since I no longer had the Health portfolio — that I’ve had a few questions, so I really appreciate the chance to stand up and talk.
But, Mr. Speaker, when I’ve listened to the opposition it seems like their environmental strategy, their green strategy, is to trash talk the province and recycle ideas.
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