Canadian climate change policy: a commitment to environmental securitization and its effects on the Athabasca oil sands
LE3 .A278 2020
Mutlu, Can E.
Bachelor of Arts
How is the federal government’s climate change policy of environmental securitization affecting the production abilities of the Athabasca oil sands in Fort McMurray, Alberta? Canada’s federal government has made it clear that climate change is an immediate threat that must be dealt with now as the future depends on it. Since becoming Prime Minister in 2015, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has taken great strides to secure the environment against the potential damages of climate change. From declaring a national climate emergency, to implementing a carbon tax, the federal government has made climate change a significant priority. However, this is having a devastating effect on the oil sands. Historically, the oil sands have been relied on by Canada to ensure national prosperity, yet that may no longer be the case. Securitization deals with combating extreme phenomenon’s deemed immediate threats or emergencies by the state, and therefore, requiring solutions “beyond politics”. This thesis argues that by affirming there is only one (universal) solution to combating climate change that is achieved through suspending the process of democratic deliberation, Canada not only undermines and taints their system of democracy, it illustrates an attitude of willful ignorance by purposefully overlooking key considerations necessary for forming enlightened policy. The Justin Trudeau federal government has engaged in a climate change policy that values speed and efficiency over the norms, principles, and values represented within a democratic system of governance. A position that diminishes the legitimacy of a democratic system, and a commitment to responsible governance.
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