International Newsdesk – Layton/Stroumboulopoulos on the environment

NDP leader Jack Layton has recently appeared on CBC’s The Hour to talk about his environmental policies with ex MuchMusic VJ George Stroumboulopoulos. Layton and his party went into the recent federal election as the only main contender with a focus on sustainable environmental ideologies, but the NDP have been battling a minority Conservative government for months on end with no real outcome on the subject.

When questioned on the importance of environmentally conservative policies in government, Layton pointed out that in recent weeks Canada has experienced massive glacial melting. In a country so strongly affected by global warming, the leader warns, it is impossible for the government to ignore legislation any longer. Unfortunately, Layton also notes that the attitudes of the parties in the House of Commons do not necessarily warrant compromise in the near future. He does, however, remain “hopeful”.

Layton seems to believe that the key to environmental attentions in the future is the ability to remain non-partisan in the House. While he does, of course, fundamentally believe that the NDP is the best option in government, he understands that all leaders and MPs believe the same their respective Parties. To break through this deadlock, Layton explains, leaders and Party officials need to come together in a non-partisan forum where everyone can express their ideas for change and the group can vote accordingly.

As Stroumboulopoulos noted, the environment has made its way to the top of the government’s agenda for the first time in twenty years, a shift he credits largely to the campaigning of Jack Layton. What does the man himself have to say to remarks like these? He thinks that he and others in government need to stop playing party politics and focus on what Canada’s ecosystem needs to stay healthy and productive.

Overall, the man seemed a bit weary, and considering what he’s had to go through to get himself heard in government, that’s no big surprise. Let’s hope he can keep the slog up a bit longer and convince Harper to bring in some real, positive changes for the environment.

CBC’s The Hour interview with Jack Layton <http://www.cbc.ca/thehour/video.php?id=1275>

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