” While Liberals and Conservatives use the issue to beat each other up, a closer look shows that they actually have the same emission targets and the same love of pipelines, and that both parties will exempt the biggest polluters from paying a price.”
-Jagmeet Singh on climate change

Last Monday, New Democrats called on Justin Trudeau to declare an environment and climate emergency. Canadian communities are already paying the price of climate inaction and the NDP is calling on the Liberals to bring in strong measures to fight climate change.

“It’s increasingly clear that if we fail to act now to fight climate change, the costs will be immense. The Liberals’ policies – from continuing fossil fuel subsidies to buying and pushing for expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, to practically eliminating the carbon tax for some of Canada’s biggest emitters – are sending Canada in the wrong direction,” said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. “Canadians should be able to count on their government to have the courage to do the right thing on climate change, while creating good jobs and making life more affordable for Canadians.”

In addition to declaring a climate emergency, the NDP’s motion urges the Liberal government to bring forward a climate action strategy that prioritizes reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, sets ambitious targets with measures to hold the government accountable, takes concrete action to reduce emissions and invests in building the clean energy economy we need now.

“Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have adopted Stephen Harper’s weak targets, and those won’t even be reached for two centuries. And the Conservatives have no plan to tackle climate change. Tackling climate change means we all have to work together and we need to make sure no worker or community is left behind,” added Singh. “We have already started laying out our plan with our commitment to make all buildings – including homes – more energy efficient. This plan will save you money, create good local jobs and fight climate change. New Democrats have a proud tradition of fighting climate change and we will not stop. SOURCE

Fighting for Climate Credibility

Now is the time to encourage political leaders to move beyond recognition of our climate emergency and commit to reducing emissions to at least 1.5 degree C as quickly as possible

Canada’s political parties are competing for climate credibility

With five months to go before the next federal election, Canada’s political parties are competing for climate credibility, seemingly engaged in a battle to show they care more about the environment, reports The National Observer.

This is a climate activist’s dream. Not only will climate be the top issue in the October election, but having politicians compete for climate action supremacy is dizzying. I frankly did not see this coming.

Climate Credibility

Fighting for Climate Credibility, Below2CImage credit: Bernd Hildebrandt, Pixabay

Liberals are poised to declare a climate emergency

The Liberals have filed a motion which asks Members of Parliament “to recommit to the Paris climate-change accord by meeting the existing targets for cutting greenhouse-gas emissions and toughening them as is required to meet the accord’s stated objective of keeping global warming as close to 1.5 C as possible,” writes Mia Rabson of The National Observer.

The Liberal motion …brings Canada closer to a declaration of climate emergency following the U.K., Ireland and Switzerland. This is precisely the kind of climate leadership activists and environmentalists have been calling for since the Liberals came to power in 2015.

NDP goes much further than Paris targets

The NDP motion (full text found below) also seeks to reach the Paris targets but goes much further by calling for the cancellation of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and an end to fossil-fuel subsidies. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says “pipelines and fossil-fuel subsidies are not congruent with climate-change action.” However, he will not go so far as to oppose the LNG project in his NDP-led home province of British Columbia.

Greens would double the emission-reduction targets

Meanwhile, the Green Party is calling for a 60% cut in greenhouse gases based on 2005 levels, in effect doubling Canada’s 30% reduction promised in the Paris Accord. Elizabeth May is very emphatic that Canadians need to heed the warnings of the IPCC 1.5°C report and Canada’s own Canada’s Changing Climate report that shows we are warming twice faster than the global average.

Somewhere below two degrees is the tipping point to where we run into something (that) scientists call runaway global warming—a self-accelerating irreversible global warming that could lead to temperatures that call into question the survival of this biosphere.

In order to ensure that action follows rhetoric, the Greens would create a non-partisan ‘war cabinet’ modeled after Winston Churchill’s during WWII to tackle the existential threat of climate change.

Click here for the transcript of a recent E. May interview on The Current, CBC Radio. “And an increase of two degrees would be catastrophic,” says May. MORE

Jagmeet Singh’s call for fossil fuels ban leapfrogs the Leap Manifesto

“The NDP is coming late to the issue of dealing comprehensively with climate change. Can it compete effectively with Elizabeth May’s Greens on this front? We shall see.” – Thomas Walkom

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on May 7 in Ottawa. “The NDP is coming late to the issue of dealing comprehensively with climate change. Can it compete effectively with Elizabeth May’s Greens on this front?” asks Thomas Walkom.
Jagmeet Singh’s New Democrats have discovered climate change. 

The party had been reluctant to take too uncompromising a stand on global warming for fear of alienating potential voters. That reluctance has gone.

Now the NDP is calling for an end to the entire fossil-fuel industry in Canada.

“The future of our country cannot involve fracking,” Singh said Monday in Ottawa, referring to a controversial method of drilling for oil and natural gas. “It cannot involve the burning of any fossil fuel.”

He said Canada must adhere to carbon reduction targets that are much stricter than those proposed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government if it to seriously fight climate change.

And he declared that he now opposes ambitious plans by British Columbia’s NDP government to build a massive liquefied natural gas project in the province’s north.

[In the past] the Leap Manifesto’s call to ban any new fossil-fuel energy projects, from pipelines to fracking, was seen as too radical. No more. Now, with his call for a Canada free of fossil fuels, Singh has outleapt the Leapers. MORE


Paul Manly’s Green victory is personal vindication and sends a message on climate change

The NDP’s prevarications on the export of natural gas and fracking, coupled the neoliberal parties’ efforts to conciliate oil and gas interests that are, at heart, unreconcilable, means that the Green Party may remain the only choice for many voters in 2020.

Paul Manly. Photo: Green Party of Canada/Facebook

Green candidate Paul Manly has won the federal byelection in Nanaimo-Ladysmith on Vancouver Island, a seat formerly held by the NDP’s Sheila Malcolmson. Commentators are saying the result is a wake-up call for all of Canada’s political class. It means Canadians might be much more serious about climate change than most politicians seem to think, they say.

That may or may not be true. One byelection does not tell the whole story.

What is definitely true is that the result is a great one for the Green Party. It gives a thumbs-up to the excellent work Green Leader Elizabeth May has done in the House since first winning a seat in 2011. Opinion polls routinely show that May is the only federal leader with a positive favourability rating.

The Green victory in Nanaimo-Ladysmith might only be a local, personal and evanescent phenomenon. But this writer has been picking up indications from erstwhile NDP and Liberal supporters in other parts of the country that they are thinking of voting Green next time.

The fearsome scientific forecasts of potential environmental and climate catastrophe — of which the UN report on biodiversity released on Monday, May 6, is only the latest — could be having a greater impact on public opinion than the mainstream media and political class seem to believe. MORE

Ontario NDP tables motion to declare climate emergency in Ontario

Responding effectively to the climate emergency requires coordinated actions from all three levels of government: federal, provincial, and municipal. It also requires citizen engagement to demand that governments respond quickly with targeted action plans. There are so many ways we can help build a New Green Deal!

Image result for andrea horwath climate emergency

The Ontario NDP has introduced a motion to declare a climate emergency in Ontario.

“Climate change is no longer only about our climate future. It is an imminent emergency. It is happening now,” said Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath.

“Ontarians are already witnessing the devastating consequences of climate change first hand. We have seen this in Bracebridge, Ottawa, and in the southwest where there has been significant flooding. We have seen this in tornadoes in eastern Ontario. We have seen this in wild fires in recent years. We need to take immediate and decisive action to tackle climate change.”

Research shows that the window for staving off the worst of effects of climate change is rapidly closing, and projections show that the cost of doing nothing is much greater than the cost of taking action. Passing the climate emergency motion is an opportunity for Doug Ford to reverse course and join the millions of Ontarians committed to fighting climate change.

“Declaring a climate emergency is an opportunity for Queen’s Park to change direction, and take on the biggest challenge humankind has ever faced,” said Horwath.

Since taking office, Ford has cancelled climate change mitigation programs including Ontario’s participation in the cap and trade market, cancelled conservation programs, scrapped green vehicle rebates, removed electric vehicle charging stations, and eliminated a program to plant 50 million trees – but it’s not too late to change course, and prioritize the fight against climate change, said Horwath.

Ontario would be the first Canadian province or territory to declare a climate emergency if the NDP motion passes. Several cities in Ontario and throughout the province have declared a climate emergency.  MORE

Trans Mountain tanks not built to withstand ‘sloshing’ oil during earthquake: engineer

Company says it has excellent emergency preparation procedures

tanks burnabymountian transmointinTanks at the Burnaby Mountain tank farm built in 1953 (not shown) may not be strong enough during a major earthquake, group says.

Trans Mountain is defending its emergency preparedness after a politician, engineer, activist and geologist stood outside its Burnaby Mountain tank farm to accuse the pipeline company of potentially endangering thousands of lives in the event of a major earthquake.

Burnaby North-Seymour federal NDP candidate Svend Robinson held a press conference Tuesday alongside Simon Fraser University geology professor John Clague, structural engineer Gordon Dunnet and anti-pipeline activist Karl Perrin.
Dunnet said existing Trans Mountain tanks could fail to hold their contents during an earthquake. While the company has published a report detailing how the tanks walls would withstand the ground-shaking forces during a quake, it does not take into account the force of sloshing oil within the tank.

The six tanks in question were built in 1953 and have moveable roofs that float on top of the oil. They were built to outdated standards without considerations made for lateral pressure from seismic or wind forces, Dunnet said.

While many people have raised concerns about the risks associated with the proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline – which would add 14 new tanks to the Burnaby Mountain site – Dunnet said the existing infrastructure already poses a serious safety concern to the 30,000 people who live within two kilometres of the tank farm. MORE


NDP angling to put progressive policy on the agenda as the House resumes


Watch the video Here

Image result for jagmeet singh new green deal
In an interview with The National’s Rosemary Barton, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh made it clear his main goal heading into the 2019 federal election is to “make people’s lives better.” (Glen Kugelstadt/CBC News)

OTTAWA – With just seven weeks left before Parliament adjourns ahead of the fall federal election, NDP Leader and Burnaby South MP Jagmeet Singh is angling to put a trio of progressive policies on the federal agenda.

In an interview on CTV’s Question Period, Singh said that his three focuses will be housing, pharmacare, and spelling out his Canadian version of the “Green New Deal” put forward by U.S. lawmakers.

“We need more housing. Canadians are struggling with it; I’ve heard so many stories. Pharmacare for all. I really want a plan that lifts up everyone, that covers everyone in Canada. And finally, a Canadian version of a Green New Deal. We need to really take action on climate change,” Singh said.

Now, with talk of the Green party gaining momentum, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s brand damaged in the eyes of some progressive voters, and the countdown to the campaign already on, Singh is promising more details on his party’s “bold” policy propositions in the coming weeks.

Among them, his own take on a Green New Deal.

“What I want to do is move towards full investments in green energy, ending all investments at the federal stage, immediately ending all subsidies to fossil fuel sectors, and moving towards investments in renewable energy,” Singh said. MORE


Canada Revenue Agency writes off $133M owed by one taxpayer

“The whole issue of corporate taxation will be a stronger part of what we offer to Canadians, bolstered by the PBO [independent parliamentary budget officer] report. You will hear us repeating what was found in the PBO report. Whether that number is $10 billion or $15 billion or $20 billion or higher… And we will be talking about the fair tax system as a foundation for making the kind of investments that will make a difference in people’s lives.” –Peter Julian, NDP House Leader

Tax agency refuses to identify person or corporation getting writeoff

The Canada Revenue Agency, under National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier, wrote off a large tax debt of $133 million last year but refuses to provide details. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

As the April 30 deadline approaches for filing income tax returns, there’s word of an unusually large tax writeoff by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Sometime in the first six months of 2018, the agency wrote off more than $133 million in taxes owed by one taxpayer. It’s not clear whether the recipient of the writeoff was a person or a corporation.

The amount was for unspecified excise taxes or excise duties; the CRA has offered no further details.

Etienne Biram also said the agency could not state whether the amount — $133,416,922.33, to be precise — has set a record for a single federal tax writeoff in Canada.

The massive writeoff is cited in a Sept. 14, 2018 internal CRA memo to explain a big jump in the total tax dollars declared uncollectible, compared with the total for the same period a year previous. CRA won’t say who got it.


Green New Deal is a way out of neoliberalism wreckage

Image result for ricochet: At a time when the federal NDP is struggling to assert an identity and progressive Canadians are struggling to find a party, the Green New Deal could be a godsend

At a time when the federal NDP is struggling to assert an identity and progressive Canadians are struggling to find a party, the Green New Deal could be a godsend

If you want to be alarmed at the way climate change is thought about in the Canadian political mainstream, have a look at what National Post columnist Andrew Coyne wrote a few weeks back. In surveying the climate policies of the major federal parties, he concludes,

“The choice before Canadians … is between policies that do nothing [those of the Conservatives and the upstart People’s Party], or that do too little at too high a cost [those of the Liberals], or that do too much at much too high a cost [the emissions reduction targets of the NDP and the Greens]: between the inadequate and the insane. It’s not terribly inspiring, but that’s democracy.”

What Coyne considers “insane” are precisely the targets that climate science is telling us have to be met. And of course he isn’t alone or on the fringe — just the opposite. In neoliberal times, his views are very typical. A couple generations of policymakers, technocrats, and public intellectuals have soaked in our reigning ideology to the point where it doesn’t even feel like ideology to them; it’s basic logic or common sense or the limits of the possible or, simply, economics. Avoiding climate breakdown is not a moral or existential imperative but an option that can be rejected should it come at “too high a cost.”

The result is a nice symbiosis, as we see in Canada. There is a special urgency to loosen the vise-like grip in which neoliberalism has for too long enclosed the political imagination. That’s why it would be hard to exaggerate the importance of the Green New Deal breaking into the mainstream ever since Senator Ed Markey and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democrats’ rising democratic socialist star, presented it as a congressional resolution last month. MORE

Young people are talking, let’s listen!

Last Friday, Greta Thunberg, Greta Thunberg, United States of America.Protests were organized in Montreal, Ottawa, and Vancouver, among others. 

Speaking to delegates from the 195 countries represented at the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24), Greta spoke for youth from across the world when she said:“You say you love your children above all else , and yet you are stealing their future in front of their eyes “, prompting them to take action. 

The message is clear, the future of young people is in danger. 

The NDP heard you and we will fight with you! SOURCE