This article explores some of the plans the new federal Liberal government has to regulate fossil fuel projects.

Getting Started

Appropriate Subject Area(s):

Environmental studies, world issues

Key Questions to Explore:

  • What are the new government’s intentions?
  • What effects will these new developments have?

New Terminology:

LNG – Liquid Natural Gas

Materials Needed:

Copies of the article, access to the Internet

Study and Discussion Activity

Introduction to lesson and task:

During the last federal Conservative government’s mandate numerous changes were made to enable the rapid development of fossil fuel extraction and export. Various pieces of legislation were weakened to reduce oversight and evaluation of environmental impact and public consultation was restricted. There was a rush to export tar sands oil to foreign markets and build pipelines to expedite that process. All of this came at the cost of environmental oversight and public concern. Indeed, the government labelled those who opposed these actions as radicals with nothing more than personal interests at heart.

With the new federal Liberal government comes a distinct change of heart. The article demonstrates how this government intends to change practice. Environmental oversight and public consultation will again become important factors in any decision regarding actions on fossil fuel development. The students will be asked to discuss what impact these changes will have and whether or not they are in support of such a direction.

Action (lesson plan and task):

  • Divide the class into groups of five or six students
  • Begin the lesson by asking the groups if they can recall what actions the past Conservative government took to alter environmental legislation and oversight to enable easier development of fossil fuel resources.
  • Give them time to research this information if needed.
  • Once this has been done and discussed, indicate to them that the new federal Liberal government is taking an entirely different approach.
  • Provide them with copies of the article and allow them time to read it.
  • Without discussing the article in a plenary session, ask the groups to outline how this new approach is different and if they support these actions by the Liberal government.
  • Allow the groups time to complete their task.

Consolidation of Learning:

  • Have the groups report their findings and conclusions and respond to any questions or comments from the class.
Success and Additional Learning

Success Criteria:

The students will be able to:

  • Indicate actions taken by the former Conservative government to alter environmental legislation
  • Identify the new directions being taken by the current Liberal government.
  • Offer an opinion concerning the desirability of these new directions.

Confirming Activity:

  • Hold a plenary session to try to determine if there is a class consensus in support of these new directions and what, if any, concerns they might have about the impact of these actions.