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MP’s REPORT: Combatting Climate Change

July 4, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Leona Alleslev, MP
Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill

Combatting Climate Change

All federal political parties and most Canadians agree – climate change is real. As responsible stewards of our environment, we must do our part to minimize the negative impacts of human activity on our planet. Where we differ is in what that should look like.

To truly be a comprehensive “environmental plan”, a Canadian plan must address more than the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We also need policies to increase energy efficiency, conserve clean water, reduce and manage waste including prohibiting the dumping of raw sewage, and restore and maintain parks, wildlife and natural habitats.

We must also be pragmatic. Canada contributes less than 1.6% of the world’s GHG emissions. If Canada’s economy were shut down for one year it would take 21 days for China to replace our emissions. Additionally, Canada derives over 80% of its GDP from trade and our products compete with countries like China and the US, who have less stringent environmental laws. Canada must not implement regulations that price us out of the global market. Our approach to safeguarding our environment and mitigating climate change must be balanced and realistic.

Environmental Regulations, Standards & Reporting

Canada sets a gold-standard when it comes to environmental regulations, but we can do better. Canada needs to develop new GHG emissions regulations that will set standards for all major emitters to lower GHGs while also driving Canadian businesses towards implementing advanced green technology.

A Canadian Cleanbrand would give Canadian and global consumers the confidence that Canadian products were manufactured with minimal environmental impact. Canadian Clean standards would withstand international scrutiny, and would initially apply to Canada’s oil, gas, and aluminum exports.

Regulations must be enforced and accompanied by regular reporting. The UN stated Canada would fall significantly short of our 2018 reduction target. The Federal Government must measure, audit and frequently report progress to Canadians to ensure programs deliver results and that we meet our Paris Accord commitments.

Drawbacks with the current “Carbon Tax”

The premise of a carbon tax is that by making driving and energy use more expensive, we will lower consumption. However, many of us drive out of necessity. Public transit is rarely an option and where it is, it takes substantially longer than driving. We also don’t heat our homes more than we need and it is unlikely we can completely alter the “R value” of our home to make it dramatically more energy efficient. We simply can’t change our behaviour but we must pay a tax. The response is a rebate that is neither proportional to the driving we do nor the energy we consume. Additionally, the current carbon tax doesn’t apply to large polluters that produce significantly more emissions than individual cars and households.

Innovation, investment & leading globally

Canada has shown it is a leading global innovator. By focussing on incentivizing and investing in green technology, Canada will become a global centre of environmental excellence. Proposals include:

  • The Green Patent Credit, will incentivize our green-technology sector entrepreneurs and small-businesses to create advancements with a reduced business tax from 15% to 5% on income from a green patent.
  • Green Expansion Accelerator would invest in targeted accelerated capital cost allowances to businesses in industries that reduce emissions in other countries, and to producers who are among the least carbon-intensive global contributor in their industry. 
  • Green Investment Standards will require polluters whose emissions exceed strict limits to invest in emissions-reduced technology specific to their industry.
  • Green Technology and Innovation Fund will build on the success of the previous Conservative government’s Venture Capital Action Plan. It will provide $250 million for a fund managed by the private sector and separate from government. The private sector will be required to invest $4 for each government dollar. 

Canada is awe inspiring, and one of the most beautiful places in the world. Canada’s plan to combat climate change must be comprehensive. Not only should it reduce greenhouse gas emissions and preserve our diverse ecosystems, it should also protect our economy and incentivize green technology industries to become global leaders. Our grandparents and parents left us a country that was better off than when they inherited it from their parents. Today we must do the same for future generations.



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