COLIN MACKAY: Climate change will be key in elections


Hundreds of beach umbrellas on Outlet Beach at Sandbanks Provincial Park. Rising floodwaters have forced park staff to turn away visitors just days before the August long weekend. (FRÉDÉRIC PEPIN/RADIO-CANADA)

High water levels still remain along the shorelines of Lake Ontario and the Bay of Quinte.

Even into August, there are small sections of the waterfront trail under water. Climate change is mainly responsible for the higher water levels, although a few people will point to an International Joint Commission Plan 2014 as a culprit too. With a federal election approaching in October 2019, how politicians tackle climate change will be extremely important. At the provincial level, too many politicians consider carbon pricing as strictly detrimental, ignoring science, while spewing only opinions.

Nevertheless, scientists have been warning that a failure to act on climate change could have enormous consequences, particularly in Canada. Fortunately, William Nordhaus and Paul Romer, winners of the Nobel prize for economics in 2018, have shown that putting a price on carbon emissions is the best way for governments to combat climate change.

Already, in the Belleville area, there have been two years out of the past three that water levels have created massive flooding resulting in considerable issues, including additional costs for our municipal government. Floods in basements, rising insurance costs, and even having to move pop-up shops to higher ground are a few of these issues.

Scientists have proven the Earth is warming considerably, almost exponentially, mainly due to increasing carbon emissions. An additional three degrees of warming during this century is predicted. Scientists from Alberta have issued an even more dire report highlighting that Canada is warming twice as quickly. A six degree increase in average temperatures would be catastrophic for the north in particular. Scientists have been ringing the warning bells for a considerable amount of time, and for the most part, politicians have failed to act.

Putting a price on carbon has proven to be the best way to reduce carbon emissions. Yet, in Canada, the political will to implement this, from a provincial level, is inconsistent. Under Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario, the cap and trade program has been dismantled, removing billions in revenue. A price on carbon is viewed, by Ford, strictly as a tax with no benefits. Yet, in British Columbia, emissions have dropped considerably due to putting a price on emissions, with their provincial economy moving along just fine. Companies wanting to avoid paying a price on carbon emissions become innovative, which is one of moving forces of carbon pricing. Sadly, in Ontario, a considerable number of innovative companies weren’t given much of a chance to succeed. MORE

Here’s what Doug Ford failed to mention in his latest rant about the carbon tax

Ontario Premier Doug Ford speaks at Challenger’s trucking hub in Cambridge on March 13, 2019. Photo by Fatima Syed

Ontario Premier Doug Ford revved up his rhetoric about carbon taxes Wednesday, claiming without evidence that his government would protect the public from rising prices.

Ford delivered the partisan message at a staged event in a suburban community west of the Greater Toronto Area, launching into a full-frontal assault on the federal government’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, without acknowledging the science underpinning global efforts to stabilize the planet’s atmosphere and prevent dangerous climate change.

Instead, Ford portrayed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government as a job-killing machine intent on pushing prices up and his provincial government as protector of working Ontarians in remarks at a trucking facility in Cambridge, adding that a price on pollution was incompatible with keeping well-paying trucking and manufacturing jobs in the province.

He also sought to pitch the environment and the economy as two mutually exclusive entities in a fight in which his Progressive Conservative government, along with like-minded New Brunswick, have lent their support to Saskatchewan in its legal challenge to the federal government’s constitutional right to impose the price on carbon, which is known to cause adverse environmental effects. MORE


Every Ontario ministry now banned from talking about climate change


Trudeau Liberals Seek To Shift Focus Away From SNC-Lavalin With Climate Change Ad Campaign

The ads will be aimed at commuters.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in a cabinet shuffle at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on March 1, 2019.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in a cabinet shuffle at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on March 1, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will try to shift the focus from the SNC-Lavalin affair to his preferred campaign battleground — climate change — with the release this week of the Liberal party’s first election-year ads.

Radio ads will air in the four provinces where the federal government is imposing a carbon tax after their conservative provincial governments refused to levy their own price on carbon: Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick.

The ads stress that the money raised from the tax will be rebated directly to residents in those provinces. In new radio ads aimed at commuters, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warns that “some politicians want to go back to the Harper years when pollution was free.” MORE

Federal Government Moves Forward to Fight Climate Change with Carbon Price Standards


The Federal Government took a big step forward in its fight against climate change today [Dec 20] by releasing new standards for the big emitters of greenhouse gases as part of its carbon pricing plan. It released the draft Output Based Pricing System (OBPS) regulations for the jurisdictions where the federal carbon pricing system will apply.

“By putting a price on greenhouse gases from the big emitters, the Federal Government is using the marketplace to transform our economy away from the fossil fuels that are causing climate change,” stated CAPE President and Yellowknife Emergency Physician, Dr. Courtney Howard.

“According to authorities such as the prestigious medical journal, the Lancet Countdown, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the World Health Organization (WHO), say that carbon pricing is a key policy tool needed to fight climate change. Many economists and the Business Council of Canada also emphasize this point.” MORE