Some believe the pan-Canadian climate plan is an important milestone on the pathway to mid-century decarbonization. The Federal government and provinces have agreed to “adopt strengthened building codes, to implement an effective clean fuels standard, and to increase the carbon price after 2022.” However Saskatchewan did not sign the agreement and Premiers like Christy Clark and Rachel Notley only did so because they were given “flexibility” to expand their province’s fossil fuel infrastructure. Future generations may look back upon the Trudeau era as the peak of LNG and oil sands development. Canada needs climate Churchills, not Chamberlains.
Last December, Canada thrilled the world’s environmental community by announcing its return to the fight against climate change. After its’ dazzling performance at Paris, the newly elected Trudeau government promptly returned to energy policies of the preceding administration. More than 130 scientists condemned the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s report on the proposed Pacific Northwest LNG terminal as “a symbol of what is wrong with environmental decision-making in Canada.” The proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, in British Columbia’s most populated area, will undoubtedly be approved on December 19. This would result in a threefold increase in the number of oil tankers sailing through Vancouver, which aspires to be the world’s greenest city. Then there is the ongoing melodrama connected to the proposed Energy east pipeline in eastern Canada. Disenchantment is spreading through the environmental community. Despite this, a new report from Environment and Climate Change Canada shows Canada “gets it.”
A year has passed since the World proclaimed its’ resolve to keep the average global temperature rise below 2 degrees. The Canadian government appears to be green lighting the expansion of our emissions heavy fossil fuel sector through the addition of Woodfibre LNG terminal, Pacific Northwest LNG terminal and at least one more pipeline to carry diluted bitumen to the West Coast. (Natural Resources Minister Jim Car says that the now expected U.S. approval of the Keystone XL pipeline does not change the fact Canada needs more access to Asian markets.) They are expected to approve the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which would tripple the tanker traffic flowing past the city of Vancouver, on December 19. The hearings for an even larger project in eastern Canada, Energy East, have been temporarily on hold since the entire panel had to recluse itself because “their participation in these meetings may have created an apprehension of bias which could undermine the integrity and the credibility of the Board’s decision making process.” Despite the fact emissions from the gas and oil sectors are one of the principal contributors to our rising emissions, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says “there is no turning back” in the fight against climate change. At the press conference following the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) at Marrakech, she was confronted about the disconnect between Canada’s climate words & fossil fuel investments.
The ECOreport looks at the approval of Pacific Northwest LNG and concludes this is another example of Trudeau Sellling Canada Out
By Roy L Hales
Even Canada’s public broadcaster, the CBC, was critical of the government’s approval of Lelu Island. Environment reporter Margo McDermid called the Pacific Northwest LNG project the “first real test of the Liberal’s approach to the environment and energy.” Her colleague, Chris Hall, added that approving this project “is going to put an enormous amount of pressure on Justin Trudeau to explain how approving a project that will generate millions of tons in greenhouse gas emissions can also help them meet (the) climate change targets they agreed to in Paris.”1 Few doubt that Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister started out with good intentions. The Globe and Mail recently called Trudeau’s attempt to please environmental groups and the fossil fuel sector “mission impossible.” For many environmentalists, the honeymoon lasted for around three months. This is just the latest example of what many perceive as Trudeau selling Canada out.