This exchange took place in the Canadian House of Commons yesterday:
Mr. Bruce Hyer (Thunder Bay—Superior North, GP):
Mr. Speaker, two of Canada’s greatest challenges are rising CO2 and growing poverty. The Conservative government has not addressed either one.
Proposed by the Citizens Climate Lobby, carbon fee and dividend would address both by setting a fee on carbon to curb our petrol addictions and putting that money straight back into the pockets of each and every Canadian.
Will the Minister of Finance please consider carbon fee and dividend?
Mr. Colin Carrie (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, I am happy to say that our approach is working. Thanks to our actions, carbon emissions will go down close to 130 megatonnes from what they would have been under the Liberals.
What does the other parties want? They want a $20-billion carbon tax. Let us look at what this would do to hard-working Canadian families. This would be a tax on electricity, transportation, heating for their homes, clothes, groceries, and the list goes on. Canadians do not want more taxes. They do not want a $20-billion carbon tax.
We are going to continue with our approach.
The Canadian federal government seems intent on maintaining the status quo, and claiming to take action on climate change with sector-by-sector regulation which doesn’t even apply to the oil and gas industry.
As a Canadian and a mother concerned about climate change, I don’t find your regurgitated talking points reassuring, Mr. Carrie. Canada can do better.
Here’s what President Obama said in an interview with Thomas Friedman on Showtime’s Years Of Living Dangerously segment that aired yesterday:
The way we’ve solved previous pollution problems like acid rain was we said, “we’re gonna charge you if you’re releasing this stuff into the atmosphere. We’re gonna let you figure it out, but we’re gonna to tell you that you can’t keep dumping it out in the atmosphere and making everybody else pay for it.” So if there is one thing I would like to see, it’d be for us to be able to price the cost of carbon emissions.
Here’s a clip of part of the interview:
Mr Carrie and his leader might want to pay attention to what the President of the United States of America says about climate change. Stephen Harper and his government have always linked Canada’s policy to that of the U.S. – at least as long as the U.S. wasn’t taking a leadership role. It seems the U.S. is changing its tune but Mr. Harper’s still singing from the old songbook.