Environment

Robust Development While Managing Risks

 

The goal of this policy is to present the main principles underlying the positions to be taken by the Conservative Party of Quebec on development and environment. These statements will guide the actions of the party in these matters and will be a “filter” through which the intentions of the party must pass before being proposed.

  1. From the outset, we choose an economic approach as the best means of progress for our society. This progress is possible and desirable, but to get there, we have a duty to explore and exploit our natural resources if we are to meet the needs of a growing population. This quest, however, must be pursued while minimizing the impact on the environment. We endorse responsible practices and new technologies to ensure the sustainability of renewable resources for future generations. Free enterprise is better than bureaucrats to select the best technology to achieve this purpose. Economic exploitation necessarily generates risks that we must manage and minimize with the best available technologies. However, we accept that the complete absence of risk is incompatible with any economic development activity.

  2. We believe that the economic development of Quebec must be achieved by a market economy, that is to say voluntary exchanges between individuals, rather than a nationalized economy or one that is planned by the government. The government should not act as a substitute for private enterprise. Rather, it should provide an environment that promotes competition, a source of innovation beneficial to the well-being of its citizens. Rules are necessary but we need to be aware that each rule generates economic and possibly special costs. They should not be nitpicking or constrain a free and thriving market. Since there is an economic and social expense of postponing material advancement, the environmental assessments will be diligent and they will build on existing best practices here and elsewhere.

  3. Environmental policies will be based on science. They will be supported by logic and reason rather than beliefs, dogmas, or the political agendas of interest groups. Often, exaggerations or biases prevent decision making in this field, which adversely affects the well-being of the population. Our party will always favour an objective assessment of the cost and of the socio-economic impacts of development.

  4. Science differentiates causes and correlations. A correlation does not imply a cause and effect relationship. A forecast, to be credible, must be based on proven facts. A forecast remains a forecast and is not a certainty.

  5. Science does not operate by consensus. The government cannot transform a scientific hypothesis into a fact on the basis of a scientific consensus.

  6. We accept that any development activity by humans includes an environmental risk, but also real and measurable benefits. We reject the principle of precaution based on the premise that it is necessary to demonstrate the absence of any doubt that an action cannot cause any harm to be socially acceptable. Rather, we advocate a balanced approach where we compare the risks and the potential benefits of an action with the risks and the benefits of inaction. In order to do this, we evaluate all known factors and we use a probabilistic approach to arrive at a reasonable conclusion.

  7. Clearly defined and transferable property rights which can be sanctioned in the courts can offer a more economical and effective solution to resolve environmental conflicts than the complex environmental laws implemented in recent decades. Although they are not the solution to all environmental issues, such property rights can ensure that no one is obliged to accept a deterioration of his environment beyond acceptable community standards.

  8. The government does not have the same long-term motivation as a private business owner to protect the environment. The wealth of the owner depends on good management of resources. If he wants to be able to take advantage of the resource as long as possible and produce the greatest benefit when he disposes of it, he has a greater incentive than the government to preserve and improve its value and usefulness. A market economy promotes better use of resources since companies will be looking to maximize their profits by reducing costs and minimizing the amount of resources they consume.

  9. A market economy provides for a better use of resources because businesses who try to maximize their profits also endeavor to lower their costs by reducing the quantity of resources they consume.

  10. We need to ensure that the largest number of people benefit from Quebec’s natural resources. The Quebec government must put in place a regulatory regime that fosters their exploitation by the private sector while respecting the rights of all citizens. Such as:a. Hydro-electricity is a clean, inexpensive and sustainable source of energy. The creation of lakes and reservoirs has an environmental impact and it improves the quality of life for human beings.b. Quebec mines provide needed materials to improve the standard of living and the life expectancy of human beings.c. Quebec forestry (planting and harvesting of wood) is the source of green building material and of abundant renewable energy. Its development has limited environmental impact and reduces the level of harvesting from natural forests.d. Quebec agriculture benefits from genetic science that enables yields to increase while reducing the environmental impact. More abundant and cheaper food increases health and food security for the population. More prolific and resistant plants require less fertilizer, pesticides and irrigation. Higher yields require less farmland, reducing pressure on the natural environment.e. Quebec aquaculture can be an important source of healthy food and can ease the pressure on wild fish stocks.

  11. A decision to allow a product for use should not be based on whether it has been produced by “nature” or by man but rather should be based on a scientific approach.

  12. Poverty can create the worst environmental problems. Poorly fed and poorly housed people do not care about the long-term preservation of their environment because they have only one concern, i.e. to meet their basic needs. The economic development of poor countries must be a priority to improve the quality of the environment on our planet. Quebec can do its part to help developing countries reduce their environmental problems by helping them grow their economies through international trade. By fostering science and economic development, Quebec can also help reduce disease and malnutrition worldwide.

 

Carbon Market

A Conservative government will end and prohibit any form of market organized by the state and based on the generation of waste or chemical compounds with no commercial value, or other artificial market aimed indirect taxation of such a product unless a significant number of accede and that States have an equal or greater tax cut of revenue from this market.