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MPs Debated Canada’s Strategy for Climate Change

June 14, 2015

This week in the House of Commons MPs debated Canada’s commitment to address climate change. Opposition MPs questioned the Government’s inaction, including potential harm to Canada’s reputation in the international community. The Government defended its commitment to both lowering emissions and balancing the budget.

On Monday, Mr. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP) questioned the effectiveness of the Government’s national plan for climate change:

Mr. Speaker, climate change is another issue on which the Conservatives have repeatedly failed, from their unambitious national plan to their non-existent emissions caps and their withdrawal from the Kyoto protocol. Worse still, today we learned that Canada is responsible for watering down the G7 communiqué on climate change.

Why is the Prime Minister determined to make Canada an international pariah when it comes to the fight against climate change?

Mr. Jean-François Fortin (Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, FD) also questioned the Government’s commitment to addressing climate change:

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister’s attitude towards climate change is an absolute disgrace.

While the G7 issued a communiqué calling for a significant reduction in greenhouse gases and calling on countries to maintain the target of limiting the rise in temperatures to two degrees, we have learned that Canada sided with Japan to try to water down the final statement.

Worse still, in his closing statement at the G7, the Prime Minister of Canada did not mention the environment a single time. He acts as though the problem did not even exist.

Will the government do its part, take action and join the global effort to combat climate change?

Similarly, Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia (Lac-Saint-Louis, Lib.) contended that the Government’s inaction on climate change harmed Canada’s international reputation:

Mr. Speaker, in response to strong pressure from the G7 countries, the Prime Minister was less than willingly persuaded to sign on to an agreement on global greenhouse gas emissions. According to some reports, Canada appears to have blocked a more ambitious agreement.

Why should our G7 partners believe in the Conservative government’s good faith considering that its previous commitments have been unreliable and its action on climate change so late in the game and unconvincing?

Mr. Colin Carrie (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment, CPC) defended the Government’s record:

Mr. Speaker, our government’s record is clear. We have reduced emissions while growing the economy and creating good, paying jobs.

We will continue to take a responsible and balanced approach. Building on this, we will reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, regulate the production of chemicals and nitrogen fertilizers, and regulate emissions from natural gas-fired electricity generation.

The Liberals and the NDP on the other hand want high taxes on middle-class families, high taxes on middle-class seniors and high taxes on middle-class consumers. We will not go there.





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