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Canada can’t coast through this climate catastrophe

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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.

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