The environmental impact of Justin Trudeau’s federal elections

September 11, 2019

 

Canadian federal elections announced – but what about the environmental impact?

It’s time once again for city streets to be bombarded. Political campaigns begin today, placing smiling faced placards and billboards on every pole possible. While our Prime Minister is telling Canadians that we “have an important choice to make” – he should perhaps start with his own campaign and the environmental effect it’ll have on our planet.

As a society, we have moved to ban the use of plastic straws. Plastic carrier bags are also shunned. Despite everything in grocery stores being swamped in seran wrapped foam trays. But that is a topic for another day. If these uses of plastics are forbidden, and rightfully so, then why not bad these huge pieces of political plastic too.

Do we really need these giant atrocities blocking our views? Are citizens more likely to vote based on how many times they see a certain face. Probably not. Do these advertisements still have a place in modern times. Again, probably not.

What if politicians stopped wasting resources and polluting the planet. What if electoral campaigns cared about the destructive imprint they leave in their wake. Is there a political party that cares about the state of our planet. Earth. The thing that sustains all life, as we know it. And if not, why not?

Are billboards made of harmful materials?

The traditional billboard is made of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. For decades, polyvinyl chloride has been the main choice for billboards. A non-biodegradable material that causes harm to our ecosystem. Some of these billboards are repurposed and used elsewhere but the fact remains that these materials will remain on Earth long after we have departed. These plastics will degrade in just under a century depending on the thickness of the plastic used.

Image courtesy PexelsAlternatively, a polyethylene option does exist. Often billed as “eco-posters” or “eco-flex vinyl”, polyethylene also does not biodegrade. Polyethylene does break down when subject to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, however. A process known as photodegradation. we need to consider that it also costs quite a bit more to produce over polyvinyl chloride. It requires the use of special inks that contain mercury, in some cases.

These facts render both options harmful and deplorable. Simply put, we are at a stage in our history, as a people, where every decision we make will have a huge impact on the life expectancy of our planet. Moving away from plastics is the future. If we can ban the use of plastic straws, then certainly we can remove things such as plastic billboards as well.

“We’ve done a lot together these past four years, but the truth is, we’re just getting started. So Canadians have an important choice to make. Will we go back to the failed policies of the past, or will we continue to move forward?” –  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Meanwhile, as every street sign and lamp post across the country are about to be decorated with billboards, the lingering SNC-Lavalin scandal still remains at large. Hindered by the federal government who refuse to lift cabinet confidentially for all witness. So while a smug Justin Trudeau attempts to sell a nation on how great his leadership has been, lets not forget that it hasn’t been without scandal, deception and deceit.

Voting takes place on October 21st. The 43rd federal elections in Canadian history.

 

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