Home Page Election 2019 News Opinion Foreign Policy Politics Policy Legislation Lobbying Hill Life & People Hill Climbers Heard On The Hill Calendar Archives Classifieds
Hill Times Events Inside Ottawa Directory Hill Times Store Hill Times Careers The Wire Report The Lobby Monitor Parliament Now
Subscribe Free Trial Reuse & Permissions Advertising
Log In
Opinion

Canada can’t coast through this climate catastrophe

By Editorial      
Share a story
The story link will be added automatically.

Canada is always trying to punch above its weight and prove itself from under the shadow of its southern neighbour.

Well, congratulations, Canada. We’ve managed to shine once again, by being a world leader in how quickly we can warm our section of the globe.

Canadian scientists have determined, in a report released April 2, that the country’s climate is warming twice as fast as the global average. And this is mainly due to human activity producing carbon dioxide emissions.

According to the report, “Canada’s annual average temperature over land has warmed by a best estimate of 1.7 C, with higher temperature increases observed in the North, the Prairies, and northern British Columbia. Annual average temperature over northern Canada increased by 2.3 C since 1948.”

“Climate change is real, and Canadians across the country are feeling its impacts. The science is clear, we need to take action now,” Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna said in a press release after the report came out.

If the science is clear and action needs to be taken now, why then was it only April 1, 2019, that the new carbon-pricing regime took effect in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick?

Why did the environment and sustainable development commissioner say in her spring report, also released Tuesday, that Canada still wasn’t hitting its stride on climate change?

“Our audit on adaptation indicated that Canada, the federal government was not ready to adapt,” Julie Gelfand told reporters. “Our audits on whether or not we would achieve our goals on reducing greenhouse gases—we haven’t achieved those reductions.”

That’s not to say the Liberals should have managed to fix global warming in less than four years—even the Green Party couldn’t pull off that miracle. But for a party that has purported to make investing in the environment and combatting climate change among its key raisons d’être, it could have done more with its majority mandate.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives, who are eager to form government, decided that posting pictures of themselves pumping gas while staring off into the middle distance was the way to stick it to the Liberals.

Nothing says “I don’t actually give a fig” than chugging gas and complaining about how much it costs. And of course, since everyone is in lockstep, the Ontario Progressive Conservatives made sure to get their photo shoots in on deadline. According to the National Observer, all 55 PC MPPs posted gas-station pictures in the last couple of days—whether they had a car in the photo or not.

At a rally on Monday, Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer lambasted the Liberals for the new carbon tax, which its opponents contend hurts more than it helps, and that the money people get back in their tax returns isn’t good enough—or enough, full stop.

Did Mr. Scheer take the opportunity to share with the country what he would do as prime minister, aside from repealing the carbon tax? Heavens no. Who needs a plan when there are social media posts?

Perhaps if everyone holds their breath waiting for the Tories’ climate strategy, emissions will dwindle all on their own.

Explore, analyze, understand
Spinning History: A Witness to Harper’s Canada and 21st Century choices
An unvarnished look at the Harper years and what lies ahead for Canadians

Get the book
Related Policy Briefings
Agriculture Policy Briefing
Short and informative analyses on policy challenges that bring background and recommendations to policymakers, journalists and the general public.

Read policy briefing
Environment
Short and informative analyses on policy challenges that bring background and recommendations to policymakers, journalists and the general public.

Read policy briefing
Energy: Carbon Pricing Policy Briefing
Short and informative analyses on policy challenges that bring background and recommendations to policymakers, journalists and the general public.

Read policy briefing

Politics This Morning

Get the latest news from The Hill Times

Politics This Morning


Your email has been added. An email has been sent to your address, please click the link inside of it to confirm your subscription.

Nearly 100 new MPs offer new face of Parliament, including 60 in flipped seats

In many ways the incoming Parliament looks quite similar to its predecessor, with 240 returning MPs, the same number of MPs who are Indigenous or a visible minority, and 10 more women.

Rise of advance voting raising questions about impact on, and of, campaigns: experts

Almost 4.8-million Canadians voted at advance polls this year, according to Elections Canada estimates, a roughly 30.6 per cent increase over 2015, accounting for roughly one-quarter of all ballots cast this election.

Watchdog’s proposed minority Parliament rules ‘appalling,’ says legal expert

News|By Mike Lapointe
Democracy Watch says Governor General should speak with all party leaders before deciding who can try forming government, but Emmett Macfarlane says the confidence convention is the linchpin of the parliamentary system.

McKenna may be moved to new cabinet role after four years implementing Grits’ climate policies, say politicos

News|By Neil Moss
Catherine McKenna's 'tenure in environment would have prepared her well for any other kind of responsibility the prime minister may assign,' says former environment minister Jean Charest.

‘They went with what they knew’: Politicos react to Election 43

'If anybody should've won a majority, it should've been Trudeau. He didn't, and it's his to wear,' says CBC columnist Neil Macdonald of the Oct. 21 election results.

‘A clear mandate’: Trudeau wins second term, with voters handing Liberals a minority

News|By Beatrice Paez
Though not improbable, his victory was not inevitable. It brings an end to a nail-biting, gruelling 40-day slog that has exposed deepening rifts across the country.

McKenna wins re-election in Ottawa Centre, trumpets voters’ support for climate fight

News|By Neil Moss
'I’m so relieved,' Catherine McKenna said, about continuing with the Liberal climate change plan.

Election 2019 was a ‘campaign of fear,’ say pollsters

'There may well be a message to this to the main parties, that slagging each other will only take you so far,' says Greg Lyle.

Election 2019 campaign one of the most ‘uninspiring, disheartening, and dirtiest’ in 40 years, says Savoie

News|By Abbas Rana
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says she has never seen an election where mudslinging overwhelmingly dominated the campaign, leaving little or no time for policy discussion.
Your group subscription includes premium access to Politics This Morning briefing.