Climate change and carbon pricing were among the top issues in Monday’s federal election. Over two thirds of Canadians voted for climate action, virtually putting an end to the challenges against Canada’s national carbon policy. Which begs the question, NOW WHAT?
With 82% of Canadians saying that the climate crisis is a serious concern, the Trudeau minority government has no choice but to act very aggressively on climate. (Editor note)
Carbon Pricing Survives. Now What?
On October 21, 2019, Canada elected a minority government that is pro-carbon pricing. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won a close election against a Conservative challenger who had promised to dismantle the nation’s policies on climate change, including the core carbon pricing policy.
Of the popular vote, 65.6% of Canadians voted for parties that support carbon pricing. Of 338 seats in the House of Commons, 67% of them (227 seats) were secured by pro carbon pricing politicians. The seat breakdown IS as follows: Liberals 157; Bloc Québécois 32; New Democrats 24; Greens 3; Independent 1 and Conservatives 121. Of concern is that Canada appears to be a country that is divided. All of the parliamentary seats in our oil and gas country, Saskatchewan, and Alberta belong to the Conservative Party.
Climate is the Top Issue
The climate crisis was a top issue in the Canadian election for the first time.
“The election results are a resounding endorsement of carbon pricing in Canada,” says Cathy Orlando, the National Director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada. “This election was also a resounding affirmation of the critical thinking skills of Canadians. However, we cannot be complacent. The victory for Prime Minister Trudeau is a minority government. Historically in Canada, minority governments rarely last more than two years. As well, Canada’s climate goals are woefully inadequate and we are a country that is divided. Canadians have some soul-searching to do.”
Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada, along with many civil society groups—co-ordinated by Climate Action Network Canada—are signatories to the following ask of our Parliamentarians: The next four years are crucial in responding to the climate emergency. This crisis requires transcending partisan lines for the benefit of all Canadians. We are counting on you. Unite and take decisive action.
- Listen to the scientists. Set climate targets aligned with the best available science to limit warming to 1.5°C
- Create mechanisms to keep government accountable and on track
- Ensure a just transition for workers and communities
- Stop letting big oil define policy: no more subsidies, no further expansion
- Fully implement the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People and respect free, prior, and informed consent.
Only one political party (and its leader, Andrew Scheer) does not take climate change seriously. It does so to its own detriment. Moving forward, all Canadians will become increasingly distressed by advancing climate change. Politicians not supporting climate action and an immediate transition away from fossil fuels will become current day climate dinosaurs. (Editor comment)
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