Elizabeth May weighs in on whether elected officials could be criminally liable for their climate policies

Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May talked about criminal liability for climate change shortly before running into B.C. Green Leader Andrew Weaver on Alberni Street. They were in Vancouver for the Pride parade.
Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May talked about criminal liability for climate change shortly before running into B.C. Green Leader Andrew Weaver on Alberni Street. They were in Vancouver for the Pride parade.CHARLIE SMITH

The leader of the Green Party of Canada has warned other politicians that they could face legal consequences in their lifetimes if they fail to take the climate crisis seriously.

“The bar here for caring about the climate isn’t to have policies better than the Conservatives,” Elizabeth May told the Georgia Straight before today’s Vancouver Pride parade. “The bar has to be: have you set a course and do you have a plan to hold to 1.5 degrees Celsius global average temperature increase [since the start of the Industrial Revolution] and not go above that?

“And if you don’t have that plan in place, then you are as culpable as much as the oil executives and the deniers,” May continued. “Because as [350.org cofounder] Bill McKibben says, incremental steps—baby steps—are just another way of losing, but losing more slowly. It doesn’t mean you’re a climate leader and it doesn’t mean you’ve taken the responsible action that any responsible leader should take.”

May’s comments came in the wake of a talked-about tweet by former Canadian prime minister Kim Campbell.

Campbell, also a former justice minister, claimed over the social-media platform that oil companies have committed “crimes against humanity” by knowingly concealing the impact of their products on the climate.

Kim Campbell

@AKimCampbell

This is precisely why I have said that the oil companies have committed CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY! All the factors are there: KNOWLEDGE of the truth and DELIBERATE action to CONCEAL (“becloud”) the truth to save their profits while preparing to protect themselves! Nuremberg worthy! https://twitter.com/senwhitehouse/status/1157290669657993222 

Sheldon Whitehouse

@SenWhitehouse

A federal judge in Rhode Island just wrote a really interesting decision about climate change.

Pretty strong stuff from a Republican-appointed, fact-based federal judge.

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May, a former lawyer, acknowledged that it’s “extremely hypothetical” to talk about criminal sanctions against politicians for their climate policies. But she hasn’t ruled out the possibility of that occurring in the future. MORE

What the SNC board may have known about the firm’s dealings in Libya — like the office safe with $10M cash

 

Corruption? Justin Trudeau has always stated that he was trying to protect the jobs of SNC-Lavalin employees and that obtaining a deferred prosecution agreement for the company was essential. Now it seems that there may as well have been a very different motive–protecting the 1% from liability. The NDP has called for a public enquiry to get to the truth. Your MP needs to know how you feel.

High-paid former directors could face tough questions if SNC-Lavalin bribery trial goes ahead


The SNC-Lavalin board in 2011. From top left: Ian A. Bourne, David Goldman, Patricia A. Hammick, Pierre H. Lessard, Edythe A. Parkinson-Marcoux and Lorna R. Marsden. From bottom left: Claude Mongeau, Gwyn Morgan, Michael D. Parker, Hugh D. Segal, Pierre Duhaime, Lawrence N. Stevenson. (SNC-Lavalin/CBC)

There’s no question that millions of dollars in bribes were paid to the Gadhafi regime in Libya to win lucrative contracts for SNC-Lavalin.

The former head of the company’s global construction arm admitted to bribery, corruption and money laundering in 2014. He pleaded guilty in a Swiss court.

But the Quebec-based engineering firm has long insisted that Riadh Ben Aïssa was acting alone and in secret.

Ben Aïssa has a very different story to tell. He is back in Canada after having spent more than two years in prison in Switzerland. He has turned on his former executives and board of directors and has been co-operating with police and prosecutors.

SNC-Lavalin has been lobbying hard behind the scenes to secure what’s called a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) to avoid going to trial. The company, as well as its supporters in government, argue thousands of jobs are at risk if it is convicted and barred from bidding on federal contracts.

But a CBC News investigation reveals why 12 top directors who left the company years ago also have plenty at stake if the case goes to trial. SNC-Lavalin’s former board is an influential who’s who of the corporate elite that includes former senators, banking executives and members of the Order of Canada. They will all likely face close — and very public — scrutiny if called to testify about whether they knew of any corruption happening on their watch.

The board at the time comprised luminaries of the corporate world, including Sen. Hugh Segal, former senator and Liberal Party executive Lorna Marsden, four members of the Order of Canada, and heavyweights from the banking, energy and railways sectors.

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It’s time for oil companies to pay their fair share for the climate crisis

Image result for It’s time for oil companies to pay their fair share for the climate crisisMassive waves hit the seawall as storms surges on West Vancouver’s Ambleside beach area at high tide on December 17, 2012.Mark van Manen/PNG Staff

Storms flooding our streets. Wildfires destroying homes. Deadly heat-waves.Extreme weather events like these are costing Canada billions of dollars. If we don’t get climate change under control, it’s only going to get worse.

Oil companies have known for decades that their products cause climate change, but they kept their research secret and cast doubt on the science.

They misled us — and now, ordinary people are paying the price.

But cities like New York, San Francisco, Victoria, and dozens more are fighting this injustice, taking oil companies to court or sending them letters to ask them to pay their fair share for the climate change costs they are facing.

Add your name to support your local government holding big polluters accountable for their fair share of the costs of dealing with climate change.

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