Tuesday, April 09, 2013

#mtlqc13 Priority Resolution - Environment

On the environmental side, I'll limit my focus to one priority resolution. That's in part because the NDP's existing policy book looks to largely cover the most important aspects of the environment, and because the resolutions submitted for the Montreal convention largely have a fairly narrow focus (which takes it outside my goals in assembling the priority resolutions list).

But one resolution does offer some important new material to define the NDP's direction, even if it looks fairly familiar based on the party's current policy:
Resolution on Energy and Pipelines
Submitted by Toronto-Danforth
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the following
clause be added to Section 2.4 of the policy book:
i. Opposing the shipment of unrefined oil-sands bitumen through pipelines (new or old) over long distances, and only supporting the shipment of refined bitumen in the context of (1) the refining taking place close to the source of extraction, (2) the end product being intended for consumption within Canada, and (3) a broader strategy that includes a move towards renewable energy sources and a just transition for the workers employed in oil-sands related industries.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT subsequent clauses in Section 2.4 be reordered as necessary.
This resolution can be seen largely as a specific application of existing party policy, including the following:
2.4 Energy
New Democrats believe in:
h Discouraging bulk exports of our unprocessed natural resources and fossil fuels and providing incentives for value-added, responsible upgrading, refining and petrochemical manufacturing in Canada to maximize the economic benefits and jobs for Canadians.
However, the new resolution provides significantly more clarity as to the standards applied by the NDP in limiting our reliance on the wholesale export of unrefined bitumen - along with needed recognition that the our policy dealing with the oil sands should be directly linked to a long-term shift toward more sustainable resources.

Because the above resolution doesn't focus quite as narrowly on hot-button issues as related resolutions (particularly those dealing with individual pipelines), I won't be surprised if it ends up getting lost in the shuffle. But I'll hope to see some effort put into an overarching set of principles as well - and even if there's ample room for debate about the specific of the Toronto-Danforth resolution, it offers an important starting point on that front.


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  2. Anonymous5:13 p.m.

    Hi Greg,
    can you tell us where you found the list of 'priority' resolutions, as opposed to the 123 or so pages of presumably 'ordinary' resolutions on the convention website?
    Tim S.

    1. The "priority" of the resolutions is found within the list, as the ordering of the resolutions within each category can be seen as reflecting the party's priority among them (particularly given that there's only time to address a few in the plenary sessions).

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