By: Greg Staley
During the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development that took place today, May 17th, 2021, Liberal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson said he was “very pleased a few weeks ago to see the Conservative Party actually endorse a carbon tax and a clean fuel standard. So I welcome the Conservative Party actually coming to the party.”
I’m not sure that this is something the Conservative party should be proud of. Congratulations Mr. O’Toole! You’ve earned the respect and appreciation of the Liberal Minister of Environment and Climate change – to bad it’s a different story when it comes to gaining the respect of voters and the base of your party!
It also got heated during the committee meeting on Bill C-12 – a bill that aims to make Canada obtain net-zero emissions by 2050. I will reflect my beliefs on the issue here quickly by citing The President of Canadians for Affordable Energy – Dan McTeague.
In his blog titled “Net Zero Part One: Defining the Terms” the 18 year veteran of parliament said that Net-zero is “the latest version of the environmental scare tactic of forcing consumers to accept things like Trudeau’s carbon taxes, or green energy plans, or any other policy madness that really means expanding government control, enriching special interests, and hurting consumers.”
That’s why when I listened in to the meeting today and heard Conservative member of parliament Dan Albas ask Minister Wilkinson a very legitimate question I was angered when he received ad hominem attacks lobbed back at him from the Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
Mr. Albas asked the Minister if the plans for the targets included relevant balancing factors like social, economic, health and scientific factors. In essence in the pursuit of a “greener” environment would the minister consider the interests of the average everyday Canadian? All he asked was could those plans for reductions be made with those balances in mind and the response he received I found personally found staggering.
Here’s how the conversation went down
Dan Albas asked “So minister in Bill C-28 it refers to the right to a healthy environment which and I quote “may be balanced with relevant factors including social, economic, health and scientific factors.” Would you support adding similar language to this bill to ensure that when setting targets and creating plans that reductions be balanced with social and economic factors in mind?”
Jonathan Wilkinson responded, “I’m not the master of the committee you folks are going to have to have discussions and decide what you think is appropriate.”
“But it is your legislation minister so please answer the question” Mr. Albas interjected.
Mr. Wilkinson finished his thought “what I would say to you is the issue around targets is a science issue. At the end of the day, you either believe in science or you don’t.”
“Do you not agree that striking a balance is important?” Mr. Albas asked.
Mr. Wilkinson responded “What I would say to you is do you believe in climate change or not? I mean at the end of the day if we’re going to have a livable world in the future you must have a net-zero world by 2050. That’s the bottom line! At the end of the day, you either believe that or you don’t!”
This is when Mr. Albas got visibly irritated and responded “Minister That’s a terrible answer I really wish you’d come to actually speak to these issues. There are people in this country that are looking for leadership, not of just of one particular ideology but to see them included in the (inaudible).”
The Minister laughed it off but I think the point Mr. Albas is making is a genuine one. In the pursuit of net-zero is there any consideration by this government or the likes of the NDP or Green parties for the average everyday Canadian that will be caught in the crossfires of these policies? Carbon taxes make home heating costs and travel more expensive, drive the cost of goods up (increase transportation cost) and will only make life more unaffordable in Canada.
In Newfoundland’s “Big Reset” budget given to premier Andrew Furey, carbon taxes were expected to make up “37.57 cents per litre on gasoline” on top of the HST and taxes already included in 2030 – is the consumer considered in these massive tax hikes? Unlikely – political ideology is more important to those in power than actually representing and helping Canadians interests.
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