News & Events


Mary Jean McFall—Liberal Party

Nature Conservation:

Q: With 12% of public land and 1% of its ocean currently protected, Canada is far behind in protecting nature and its biodiversity.  What will you do to ensure Canada meets its international commitment of protecting at least 20% of land and 10% of its ocean by 2020?

A:

  • Rapidly develop a road map to meet Canada’s international commitment to protect 17 percent of our land and inland waters by 2020. We will invest $50 million annually to advance the development of Canada’s parks system, National Wildlife Areas, and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries.
  • Increase science spending in our National Parks by $25 million per year to allow for early identification of ecological stresses and avoid permanent degradation.
  • Protect our National Parks by restricting development inside the parks and, where possible, by working with gateway communities outside the parks to grow their eco-tourism industries and create jobs.
  • Reverse Conservative cuts to Parks Canada that slashed over $25 million from programs and services. We will restore Canadians’ ability to fully experience our National Parks and learn more about our environment.
  • Increase the amount of Canada’s protected marine and coastal areas from 1.3 percent to 5 percent by 2017, and 10 percent by 2020.
  • Reverse the $40 million that Harper cut from the federal government’s ocean science and monitoring programs.
  • Work with the provinces, Indigenous Peoples, and other stakeholders to use our marine resources efficiently. We will empower coastal communities to manage their resources and ensure smarter co-management of our oceans.
  • Deepen our commitment to work with other governments to protect Canada’s freshwater through education, geo-mapping, watershed protection, and infrastructure investments in the best waste water treatment technologies.
  • Act on the recommendations from the Cohen Commission on restoring sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser River.
  • Renew our commitment to the protection of the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River Basin, and the Lake Winnipeg Basin.
  • Restore $1.5 million in federal funding for freshwater research, which was cut by the Conservatives, and make new investments in Canada’s world-leading IISD Experimental Lakes Area.

Energy East:

Q: If elected, what will you do to address the environmental concerns the community of North Grenville have on the proposed Energy East pipeline; specifically regarding the Rideau River, the Oxford Aquifer and the climate change impacts of expanding the tar sands? And how would you address the economic concerns of potential increased natural gas prices as a result in a decrease in supply?

A:

A Liberal government will:

  • Replace Harper’s changes to the environmental assessments with a new, comprehensive, timely, and fair process that restores robust oversight, ensures decisions are evidence-based, and allows the public to meaningfully participate.
  • Modernize and rebuild trust in the National Energy Board.
  • Review the current federal environmental assessment process, and ensure it includes an analysis of upstream impacts and the greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Ensure that the Crown is fully executing its constitutional duty to consult and respect Aboriginal Peoples on project reviews and assessments.
  • Conduct a wholesale review of the Conservatives’ changes to the Fisheries Act and the elimination of the Navigable Waters Act, to re-establish lost protections and incorporate more modern safeguards.
  • Complete robust species at risk action plans and strengthen protections for endangered species.
  • Work with regulators to ensure that gas prices remain affordable for Canadians

 

Science:

Q: Canadians deserve a government that is open, transparent and committed to science. Will you support the free speech of federal scientists, opening up the review processes to all Canadians? Will you develop policy and other decisions based on best available scientific evidence?

A:

  • We will revoke rules and regulations that muzzle government scientists and allow them to speak freely about their work, with only limited and publicly stated exceptions. We will consolidate government science so that it is easily available to the public at-large through a central portal.
  • We will create a Chief Science Officer whose mandate would include ensuring that government science is freely available to the public, that scientists are able to speak freely about their work, and that scientific analyses are appropriately considered when the government makes decisions.
  • We will make Statistics Canada fully independent with a mandate to collect data needed by the private sector, other orders of government, not-for-profits, and researchers, in order to support good decision-making.
  • We will consult broadly and work with a strengthened Statistics Canada to make available additional data needed by businesses, municipalities, the not-for-profit sector, and the public. This would include more detailed labour market information, child development data, and statistics on natural capital.  We will also immediately restore the mandatory long-form census.
  • We will release key information that informs decision-making.
  • While it is vital that we modernize our Access to Information system, we must also ensure that government on the whole is open by default. Data paid for by Canadians belongs to Canadians.
  • As such, we will accelerate and expand open data initiatives and continually look for additional opportunities to do so. Data will regularly be made available digitally and in formats that allow the public to easily use government data.
  • We will devote a fixed percentage of program funds to experimenting with new approaches to existing problems, instilling a culture of measuring results, innovation, and continuous improvement in how government serves the needs of Canadians.
  • We will stop funding initiatives that are no longer effective and invest program dollars in those that are of good value.
  • We will use technology to increase Canadians’ participation in government decision-making and the evaluation of existing policies.

 

Rural realities:

Q: Rural municipalities face a variety of trade-offs with respect to land use, infrastructure, climate change effects, transportation needs (NG has 80%+ commuters), ameliorating natural and human disasters (e.g. oil spills or flooding) and social housing. What supports will you, as federal representative, offer this region’s municipalities to ensure rural realities are addressed and these municipalities are ensured strong advocacy?

A:

  • As a Member of Parliament, it’s my job to ensure that all national strategies like housing, infrastructure, and healthcare, include significant objectives for supporting and growing rural Canada and the rural parts of our riding.
  • The Liberal Party has a plan to nearly double current federal investment in infrastructure, and there are three core tenets of this plan: public transit infrastructure, social infrastructure, and green infrastructure. This will have a significant impact right here in Leeds-Grenville, helping build and renovate affordable housing and seniors facilities, early learning and childcare spaces, and cultural or recreational infrastructure.
  • The Liberal investment in green infrastructure will also help address changing weather patterns and climate change effects, including: local water and wastewater facilities, climate resilient infrastructure, clean energy, protection against wildfires, improved storm water systems, additional dams and dikes, and more.
  • Infrastructure investment affects municipal and provincial governments, and Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes needs a representative who is willing to work with all levels of government in a non-partisan manner. As our Member of Parliament, that is what I plan to do.

 

Climate and the Economy:

Q: Canadians subsidize the fossil fuel industry to the tune of $1.3 Billion per year despite the industry being in a downturn. Major weather events have been induced by climate change and have cost lives and billions of tax dollars. Provinces that have put a price on carbon have seen emissions decrease with an increase in their economy. How will you address fossil fuel subsidies and what do you envision for a national carbon policy?

A:

  • The Liberal party promises to phase out subsidies to fossil fuel companies
  • A Liberal government would invest $200 million each year to create strategies that support innovation and clean technologies in the forestry, energy and agricultural sectors, and invest another $100 million to support clean technology companies.
  • We will create national emissions-reduction targets, informed by the best economic and scientific analysis. These targets must recognize the economic cost and catastrophic impact that a greater-than two-degree increase in average global temperatures would represent, as well as the necessity for Canada to do its part to prevent that from happening.
  • We will ensure that the provinces and territories have adequate tools to design their own policies to meet these commitments, including their own carbon pricing policies. As part of the comprehensive emissions reduction agreement with provinces and territories, we will provide targeted federal funding to help them achieve these goals.
  • Be a full partner in the work, already underway by provinces and territories, to develop a Canadian Energy Strategy that delivers energy security and energy conservation.  Join with the provinces to set stronger air quality standards, creating incentives for investments that lead to cleaner air, healthier communities, and better quality of life for all Canadians.
  • We need to push for the next major step in the history of North American partnership: a clean energy and environment agreement.  North America can and should be the world’s most efficient and responsible energy producer. From Canada’s reserve of renewable energy exports like hydro-electricity, to the opening of Mexican energy markets, to revolutionary developments in the US energy industry, together we have an opportunity to position North America for a cleaner energy future.
  • A key result of any agreement should be continental coordination of climate mitigation policies and alignment of international negotiating positions.