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Harper Government In Stark Contrast To President Obama on Climate Policy

2014/06/10

CCL on carbon fee and div

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This exchange took place in the Canadian House of Commons yesterday:

Mr. Bruce Hyer (Thunder Bay—Superior North, GP):
Mr. Speaker, two of Canada’s greatest challenges are rising CO2 and growing poverty. The Conservative government has not addressed either one.
Proposed by the Citizens Climate Lobby, carbon fee and dividend would address both by setting a fee on carbon to curb our petrol addictions and putting that money straight back into the pockets of each and every Canadian.

Will the Minister of Finance please consider carbon fee and dividend?

Response:
Mr. Colin Carrie (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, I am happy to say that our approach is working. Thanks to our actions, carbon emissions will go down close to 130 megatonnes from what they would have been under the Liberals.
What does the other parties want? They want a $20-billion carbon tax. Let us look at what this would do to hard-working Canadian families. This would be a tax on electricity, transportation, heating for their homes, clothes, groceries, and the list goes on. Canadians do not want more taxes. They do not want a $20-billion carbon tax.

We are going to continue with our approach.

The Canadian federal government seems intent on maintaining the status quo, and claiming to take action on climate change with sector-by-sector regulation which doesn’t even apply to the oil and gas industry.

As a Canadian and a mother concerned about climate change, I don’t find your regurgitated talking points reassuring, Mr. Carrie.  Canada can do better.

inaction is expensive*

Here’s what President Obama said in an interview with Thomas Friedman on Showtime’s Years Of Living Dangerously segment that aired yesterday:

The way we’ve solved previous pollution problems like acid rain was we said, “we’re gonna charge you if you’re releasing this stuff into the atmosphere. We’re gonna let you figure it out, but we’re gonna to tell you that you can’t keep dumping it out in the atmosphere and making everybody else pay for it.” So if there is one thing I would like to see, it’d be for us to be able to price the cost of carbon emissions.

Here’s a clip of part of the interview:

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Mr Carrie and his leader might want to pay attention to what the President of the United States of America says about climate change. Stephen Harper and his government have always linked Canada’s policy to that of the U.S. – at least as long as the U.S. wasn’t taking a leadership role. It seems the U.S. is changing its tune but Mr. Harper’s still singing from the old songbook.

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image from I Heart Climate Scientists

image from I Heart Climate Scientists

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Links:

‘Science Is Science’: Obama Embraces Price On Carbon, Leaving Fossil Fuels In The Ground

Canada “more frank” about climate change, Harper says

Hansard transcript from House of Commons, June 9, 2014

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 2014/06/10 10:01 am

    It’s so encouraging to see President Obama taking the lead in acknowledging the scientific facts about climate change and doing something about it.

  2. 2014/06/10 11:55 am

    Yes, acknowledging the reality is the first step. PM Harper isn’t there yet, or he would be taking concrete action instead of mouthing platitudes

  3. 2014/06/10 1:33 pm

    Harper and Tony Abbott got together and the predictable happened – their lizard brains erupted. Harper, perhaps emboldened by the only man on the planet beside whom he doesn’t look like a complete a$$hole, said that cutting emissions would cost jobs and damage the economy and that won’t happen on the Tories’ watch.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canada-more-frank-about-climate-change-pm/article19087212/

    Cue the self-righteous indignation of Trudeau and Mulcair! What’s that, utter silence? Christine, we live in a genuine, petro-state and the Libs and NDP are just fine with it. Read the line from Joe Oliver. This magnificent country with its vast spaces, bountiful resources and such a well-educated population would be reduced to a giant heap of nothing and ne’er do wells without bitumen trafficking.

    • 2014/06/10 8:24 pm

      Sounds like there’s a need for some engaged citizens, MoS. How about you join me and the rest of us CCLers in Ottawa at the end of November? If nothing else, you will get to spend some time with people who speak the same language as you (I think of them as my “tribe”) and who understand the significance of the climate crisis. At best, you will influence the course of history. Win-win.

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