It has actively worked to undermine efforts to mobilize the resources of the international community to collectively confront the global climate crisis.

This is in sharp contrast to the leadership role Canada played in the campaign against another daunting global environmental threat, ozone layer depletion, which led to the signing of the acclaimed Montreal Protocol in 1987.

Harper’s obstructionist approach to climate change shows that he puts the interests of powerful oil companies ahead of the interests of Canadians. He has taken numerous steps to shut Canadians out of the key debate over the future of the tar sands by blocking citizens and groups wanting to voice objections at environmental regulatory hearings – including hearings into a proposal that would allow highly hazardous tar sands oil to move through the northern part of Toronto.

This anti-democratic method runs through Harper’s approach to the environment, including the way he’s allowed industrial pollution to seriously compromise our freshwater lakes. His government has dismantled crucial protections, stripped the National Energy Board of its regulatory powers, shut down globally significant environmental research operations and muzzled government scientists.

As Canadians fight to retain our democratic voice, we need to reject Ottawa’s approach of putting corporate interests ahead of protecting the very land, water and air that sustains us.