Green responsibility is alive and well at all government levels, says Rick Smith, director of Environmental Defence, a research and lobby group dedicated to protecting Canada’s environment.
Environment Canada, for example, provides different types of incentives for businesses and homeowners who become energy and environmentally efficient. The federal government is also funding pilot projects that are creating eco-friendly transport in seven Ontario cities.
Ontario’s Green Energy Act (GEA) aims to stimulate growth in clean energy while creating 50,000 jobs and upgrading building codes for energy efficiency and standards for household appliances. Alberta also supports clean energy and has launched the world’s first carbon capture project.
At a city level, Montreal started North America’s most ambitious bike program last year, with 3,000 bikes located in 300 downtown locations.
Business echoes government initiatives. Canadian Business for Social Responsibility, for example, regularly hosts conferences such as Good Green Jobs For All. The Canadian Hotel Association’s Green Key Rating program helps consumers find a green hotel. On a smaller business level, Canada’s first eco-dairy – Bakerview in Abbotsford, B.C. – operates with energy efficient milking machines and an anaerobic digester that converts cow manure to gas that powers lights and heat.
Smith encourages consumers to help keep these types of initiatives going by supporting government policies and initiatives that protect the environmental.