A shrug? Amidst all the clenched fists and raised neck veins coast to coast– this indifferent, non-vexed gesture? Canadians everywhere are shaming away out of the spotlight shed on the country for Harper pulling us out of the international agreement to save environmental face. What silver lining allows for this?
“[The withdrawal] really doesn’t impact British Columbia because we’ve got our own climate action targets” — Environment Minister Terry Lake.
One is the Greenest City initiative, the saving grace of Vancouver’s fight to set the pace on living smart and sustainable—an initiative that lives and breathes despite whether or not the federal government has its feet on terra firma. The Greenest City Action plan is an intensive city-wide program of projects with an end target goal of reducing the city’s greenhouse-gas emissions by 33% by 2020 (from 1990). Its 85 initiatives include undertakings such as: Verticrop—where 95 tonnes of greens a year will grow atop a parking garage smack dab in downtown, (C3) Campus-City Collaborative to update sustainability reaches on number of GVR campuses, and hosting the International Cities Summit for sustainability in February 2012.
Newly re-elected Mayor Gregor Robertson said at his inaugural speech last Monday:
“[The people of Vancouver] know that future belongs to those who have the courage to try new things, and yes, to admit mistakes. But also to persevere in the face of setbacks and difficulty… Vancouver’s bright future relies on our compassion for each other, on our commitment to all those who come next, and on our determination to succeed together. That’s the strength of this city.”
And so the cheese stands alone.