New Government Means Canadian Enviros Need Better ‘Inside Game’
With a new federal government in Ottawa, Canadian environmental groups are going to have to shift their tactics to a more sophisticated “inside-outside” game, according to public policy specialists cited by DeSmog Canada.
The environment community (along with most other civil society groups) was “all but shut out of Ottawa” for 9½ long years. And “now that Justin Trudeau and the Liberals have taken the helm, advocates have high hopes for a course correction on the environment and energy files,” DeSmog writes. “But after nearly a decade of working under hostile conditions, environmentalists need to make a course correction of their own if they want to effectively influence public policy.”
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Allan Northcott, vice-president of Max Bell Foundation, warned that advocacy groups’ tactics aren’t always effective. “If I were running a large ENGO [Environmental Non-Government Organization] and my file was climate, it’s a new day,” he told DeSmog. “The opportunity is different, so it’s going to require a different plan, a different strategy.”
Otherwise, “it ends up just being noise. And there’s lots of noise,” he adds.
In a far less hospitable political environment, “environmental groups spent a decade building up their ‘outside game,’ doing things like gathering petitions and organizing protests,” Gilchrist writes. Now, “the outside game needs to morph to complement the development of an effective inside game.”
(Congratulations to the awesome team at DeSmog Canada, named as a finalist for Best News Coverage by the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.)