A lot of Canada's current crises were caused in part by past governments failing to think beyond an election cycle. So how can we make governments take a longer view and consider the impact of their decisions on future generations? To find out, we spoke with Jerry DeMarco, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development in Canada’s Office of the Auditor General.
“When we didn't have the technology to create multi-decade or multi-century messes for others to clean up, then there wasn't necessarily a need to have institutions that could deal with that. But now that we do have that ability to create these long-term problems, we need to harness our ingenuity to figure out new ways of addressing them.”
- Jerry DeMarco, Commissioner of the Environment & Sustainable Development
Our conversation touched on:
How his office holds the federal government to account on its sustainable development promises
How Canada went from leader to laggard on climate action
Comparing sustainable development and generational fairness
How Canada and other countries can embed long-term thinking in government decisions
Commissioner DeMarco has been interested in intergenerational equity for much of his 25-year career as a leading expert on environmental law. Before joining the OAG, he served as Commissioner of the Environment and Assistant Auditor General at the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario.
PS: If you're interested in how past policy decisions are harming younger generations today, mark your calendars for Generation Squeeze's first Community Call on November 16!