Trudeau’s fake war on climate change: Tom Mulcair

Justin Trudeau didn’t get the majority he thought he deserved last September, so he went and bought one with taxpayer money.

We will receive the first part of the invoice with the budget on Thursday.

His agreement with NDP will bring many new social programs, which is the best way to reduce inequality in our society. They are also difficult to dismantle when a new government arrives. A win for the NDP base but in the eyes of most Canadians Trudeau will get the credit.

Chrystia Freeland has to show that there is at least an inkling of plans to reduce the record deficit we have experienced during the pandemic. Will he risk opening up on the income side, as is rumored, by deducting some of the capital gains exceptions from the sale of the primary residence? He and Trudeau have said they will raise taxes for financial institutions. What other moves will there be?

One thing is for sure, after the presentation of Steven Guilbeault’s detailed plans, there will be a lot of money for the promised fight against climate change. billions.

Monday’s shocking UN report by the IPCC is an alarm bell for future generations. When UN Secretary General António Guterres called that report “a number of climate promises being broken” and denouncing “the gaping gap between climate promises and reality,” Canada’s own behavior is one of its targets. Regardless, Canada will continue to subsidize oil and gas companies and approve new, destructive fossil fuel projects.

Guilbeault is well versed in the pragmatic attitude that sets him apart from many of his former colleagues in the environmental movement. He had navigated well in his new position, letting the bureaucrats know he was the boss. His plans, like hers, are smart and ambitious.

I knew him well during my three years as Quebec’s minister of the environment. You can talk to the man. He knows when someone is making an honest effort and when he is being fed. We got along well.

I was one of the skeptics when he got involved with Trudeau. I attended his candidacy meeting and was surprised by the partisan tone he emphasized in defending the Liberal record on climate. They have bought the pipe! How could Guilbeault support it?

The answer is strong if not convincing enough. Trans Mountain is a fait accompli, no use crying over spilled milk. He asked to be judged on his own results.

He will get what he asks for. Information flowing out of the Liberal region of Newfoundland and Labrador indicates the swift approval of a major offshore oil project known as the bilingual “Bay du Nord.” The tacit sequence is: adopt a grand climate plan (to provide protection); talk a lot about climate in the budget (to provide more protection); approved this major new fossil fuel project. As simple as 1-2-3…

Liberals have prepared a rationalizing Rolodex:

  • It is much more intensive, in terms of GHG production per barrel, than oil sands. True, but it will be next to the oil sands, not somewhere. Inevitably, oil will also burn, somewhere, increasing global warming.

  • Under the constitution, provinces have jurisdiction over natural resources. True again, but these offshore projects have to go to the Federal Cabinet for approval. Without Trudeau and Guilbeault’s blessing, it could not continue.

  • Canadian oil does not have the stigma of Russian oil. Also true, but have the same GHG.

  • The NL, as part of the sales work, can be persuaded to agree that they will not make any new requests for approval (but how can one government tie the hands of the Assembly Council in the future?).

Trudeau broke a key election promise with a new Liberal climate plan. During the election campaign he was hit hard by Jagmeet Singh for having the worst record in the G7 under the Paris Accords. To help get out of the tie, Trudeau vowed there would be a “hard limit,” an absolute limit, on GHG production in the oil and gas sector. That proved wrong, and Guilbeault stuck saying we’d do it some time in the future. Now another shoe will drop with the approval of Bay du Nord.

Last Friday, Steven Guilbeault was greeted by young people shouting at him about Bay du Nord. When he became Minister of the Environment, I joked with him that he had better get ready for the day environmentalists would protest against him. He chuckled because he knew it was inevitable.

What is inevitable is agreeing to projects that can only exacerbate climate change.

In my current role as Chair of the Canadian Earth Day Council, I have a front row seat to see the serious involvement of many Canadians, municipalities, businesses and NGOs in the fight against climate change. I also know that the federal government can be a great catalyst and partner. Guilbeault has already begun to point that out.

What has been sorely lacking for decades is any serious action by the Canadian government. To our eternal shame, we are the first country in the world to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol. It is under Stephen Harper’s watch but the Liberals can find no solace in blaming the Conservatives.

As Chrétien’s former Chief of Staff Eddie Goldenberg frankly admits, in explaining the Liberals’ failure to meet our international obligations, they had signed Kyoto without a plan. That, he said, was more to galvanize public opinion. A high-sounding way of admitting that it was an exercise in political communication, nothing more.

Many Canadians simply believe, without evidence, that the Liberals must be doing something right about climate. The over-attack by the Conservatives actually helped them in this. Liberals have consistently taken full political advantage of that belief. Trudeau has always understood that Canadians need to be told that we are taking real action, even when we are last in line. This helped him get selected. Like the Wizard of Oz, he tries to maintain his illusions and pleads with Canadians not to pay attention to the offshore oil rigs behind the curtain. We somehow feel better with Justin Trudeau’s fiasco on climate than we do with Stephen Harper.

I was in my room in Paris, in 2015, when Justin Trudeau reached out his hand and declared “Canada is back”. He waited to return to Canada to say, more quietly, that he was back with Stephen Harper’s plans, schedules, and goals. Trudeau never even met them.

Trudeau was able to attend last fall’s climate summit in Glasgow thanks to the presence of Guilbeault, who has a lot of credibility on the world stage. Trudeau has the audacity to tell other countries they need to be more like Canada! Don’t expect him to lean his stuff on the next one.

In the days after the budget, there will be moments of truth for Guilbeault. Will he follow his Prime Minister and agree to Bay du Nord or will he take the principled stance he has taken in the past?

You cannot claim to be fighting climate change and at the same time agreeing to increase oil production by hundreds of millions of barrels.

Will Trudeau once again show that to him, it’s all about appearances and results that really don’t matter? Despite the real dangers and all our promises, will Canada continue to be one of the highest emitters per capita on the planet?

Canadian youth will rely on Trudeau and Guilbeault to do the right thing and refuse to increase Canada’s fossil fuel production. Their future quality of life depended on it, but none the less certain, given the Liberals’ track record of pretending.

Tom Mulcair was the leader of Canada’s federal New Democratic Party between 2012 and 2017.

Laura Davis

"Total troublemaker. Alcohol aficionado. Social media specialist. Friendly travel nerd."

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