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The New Democrats have the best platform on the environment, according to Canadas major environment groups.

Greenpeace and the Sierra Club gave the NDP higher marks than all the other parties, the Greens included. The Greens failure to adequately address protected areas from development cost them a tie for top marks with Greenpeace.

The results might surprise some people, who assume the Greens would have more good things to say on the environment than the other parties.

But the Sierra Club notes that whether through lack of experience in government or through a shortage of policy experts, the Green platform is not as specific and does not make as many detailed commitments on as many topics as either the New Democrats or the Bloc Quebecois.

And the Sierra Club gives the NDP top marks for its plans to protect clean water and ban bulk water exports, saying its set of commitments are the most complete of all the parties.

The Conservatives initially didnt supply either group with detailed answers to their questionnaire, and were graded as failure. On June 22nd, the Sierra Club upgraded their overall mark to a D-, to reflect the fact that the Conservatives had submitted their response.

The Liberals were given an overall B by the Sierra Club. Greenpeace awarded them three Fs for failing to address the issues of protecting land, promoting peace and ensuring safe food. Their reply on energy issues got them a C.

The NDP platform recognizes the power of the federal government to create positive change. Key among its components are plans to establish a just transition fund for energy workers and the communities in which they live, assistance to coal-dependent provinces to close coal plants and a new Crown corporation focusing on conservation and renewable energy.

For more, see: www.greenpeace.ca and www.sierraclub.ca

You can also download a flyer on the Conservative environment agenda at: http://election.cupe.ca/updir/election/BC_environment.pdf