Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday June 20, 2019
Scheer’s climate pledge is nonsense, just like Trudeau’s
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer’s long-awaited climate change plan means the Tories will now join Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberals in lying through their teeth leading up to the Oct. 21 election.
Scheer’s 60-page plan released Wednesday, which does not include a carbon tax, says the greenhouse gas reduction targets agreed to by Trudeau under the Paris climate accord in 2015, “are Conservative targets and our plan will give Canada the best chance at reaching them.”
Scheer has to say that because Trudeau’s targets used to be Stephen Harper’s targets and Scheer previously said he supports the Paris accord.
But in the real world Scheer’s plan, containing 50 initiatives, has as much chance of hitting the Paris targets as Trudeau’s, meaning somewhere between slim and none and slim just left town.
This as evidenced by the fact Scheer’s plan contains no timeline or deadlines for actually achieving the Paris target of reducing our emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030.
That means Trudeau and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna will spend the election denouncing Scheer for not having a plan to meet the Paris targets.
Of course, they will ignore the fact the federal environment commissioner, nine of 10 provincial auditors general, the United Nations, the federal government’s own studies and the Parliamentary Budget Officer, say the same thing about Trudeau’s plan. (Toronto Sun)
Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is an icon of progressive politics who has promised to “put a price on pollution”. Last week, to much applause, he proposed a ban on single-use plastics. On Monday night, his government declared a national “climate emergency.”
He is also now the public face of a Canadian plan to expand a pipeline that would triple the amount of crude oil that moves from the Alberta tar sands to the Pacific Coast for shipment around the world.
Such is his dilemma — and Canada’s.
Trudeau’s Liberal government announced Tuesday it will push ahead with the stalled Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, $5.5 billion project that has long pitted the country’s energy sector against the concerns of environmental and some indigenous groups.
Trudeau, announcing the decision at a news conference in Ottawa, pledged that every dollar earned from the pipeline will be used to fund projects to power Canada’s transition to clean energy.
“We need to create wealth today so we can invest in the future,” he said. “We need resources to invest in Canadians so they can take advantage of the opportunities generated by a rapidly changing economy, here at home and around the world.”
The move will be welcomed by the country’s struggling oil sector and the many Canadians whose fortunes are tied to it. Landlocked Alberta produces four-fifths of Canadian crude but struggles to get it abroad, and so must settle for selling at steep discounts against global benchmarks — hitting the province hard.
But many Canadians have protested the expansion proposal out of concern for oil spills and the continuing promotion of climate-changing fossil fuels. They question whether this is the moment to increase Canadian shipments of oil.
Trudeau has been left to walk a tightrope between the two sides, taking heat from both as he limps toward a federal election this fall. (Washington Post)