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Zero fossil fuel dependence by 2050: Canada needs a national commission

By Jatin Nathwani and Ann Fitzgerald      

The feds should set up a non-partisan, expert-based Macdonald-type commission to detoxify the carbon tax and climate debate and create a space, post-COVID, for civic engagement with a positive purpose.

The Supreme Court’s decision provides a foundational floor or, a ‘book-end,' to the legal debate about specific powers of the federal government to enact legislation to regulate emissions considering international obligations. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

WATERLOO, ONT.—Canada’s dependence on fossil fuels is a blessing and a curse: the oil and gas sector currently deliver massive economic benefits but with an environmental sting that will preclude its expansion as the global targets for greenhouse gas emissions tighten. The decision by Canada’s Supreme Court, confirming the federal government’s authority over the carbon tax legislation is helpful, welcome, and a necessary step albeit not sufficient to release us from continued dependence of an economy based on fossil fuels. Can we create a future with ‘zero fossil fuels’ dependence by 2050? This is a broader question beyond emissions targets and carbon pricing that frames the need for urgent action through multiple lenses: technological innovations, markets, capital investment flows, and recognition that fossil fuels will become a product of last resort soon.

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Health Canada gives green light to administer Pfizer vaccine to those aged 12-15

News|By Palak Mangat
Officials were unable to immediately say how the approval will impact the country’s overall herd immunity goal, which has been described as a moving target by experts as more vaccines come online.

Committee jurisdiction unresolved as MPs await study on privacy bill

Conservatives say sending the bill to the Ethics Committee is an attempt to distract the committee from its ongoing work on the WE Charity controversy, while Liberals say Ethics is the natural spot for a privacy bill.

What’s up PROC? Committee filibuster over prorogation study passes 40-hour mark

‘I don’t need to hear from Chrystia Freeland … about their most recent budget for 90 minutes in order to understand the decision about prorogation,’ says NDP MP Daniel Blaikie of a Liberal-suggested compromise.

A national strategy on transgender health care is needed, advocates and experts say

News|By Alice Chen
'There are clear, glaring gaps in coverage and standards for transgender health care in Canada,' says Conservative health critic Michelle Rempel Garner.

Constitutional challenge to sex work laws ‘succeeded before’ and will succeed again, says advocacy group

News|By Alice Chen
The current set of laws prohibit working together as well as safely advertising, puts sex workers at undue risk and potentially violates their charter rights.

Canada has limited options to pressure Iran to be transparent over downing of PS752, says last diplomat in Tehran

News|By Neil Moss
The Canadian government has criticized Iran for not providing transparency over what led to the shooting down of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 on Jan. 8, 2020.

Changes to Radio Canada International come at expense to core mandate, say supporters

News|By Neil Moss
'Radio Canada International has just one mandate and that is to explain Canada to the world,' says former host Wojtek Gwiazda.

Feds could face climate litigation over export-credit agency’s financing of fossil fuel projects, say advocates

Opinion|By Beatrice Paez
‘It shouldn't take members of the public suing the federal government to get them to act,’ says one of the groups urging the government to reorient EDC's financing away from carbon-intensive projects.

New immigration plan for temporary workers, international students riddled with barriers, says advocate

News|By Palak Mangat
Timelines and stringent eligibility requirements under the new immigration policy have left many ‘scrambling’ to apply, says one expert.
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