NDP unveils parts of climate plan in motion as the Green Party edges closer

OTTAWA — NDP leader Jagmeet Singh says his party will cut Canada’s emissions almost in half over the next decade as he tries to stake out a claim to the climate change agenda in the looming federal election.

The pledge is one contained in an NDP motion expected today in the House of Commons that will lay out eight broad strokes of the NDP’s climate change platform. The motion asks for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to declare “an environment and climate emergency” as well as pledge to cut emissions more deeply, eliminate government aid to the fossil fuel industry and cancel the planned expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

“We want to reflect the urgency people are feeling,” Singh said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

That urgency for him means a slow end to the Canadian oil sector, which Singh says is on its way out whether Canadians like the idea or not.

“This is the direction the world is headed,” he said.

The motion comes just one week after the Green Party earned a resounding victory in a Vancouver Island byelection which most political observers ­– Singh included – believe was a message from voters for politicians to start taking climate change more seriously.

Singh however insists today’s motion is not an attempt to beat back Green support, which would affect both NDP and Liberal fortunes in the fall.

In fact Singh insists whatever message voters were sending last week in Nanaimo-Ladysmith, it was to the governing Liberals, not the NDP, even though the NDP won the seat in 2015. The byelection was triggered when Sheila Malcolmson resigned after just three years as an MP to run provincially in British Columbia.

The Green Party’s Paul Manly now represents the riding, only the second Green MP ever elected in Canada. The NDP finished a distant third and the Liberals an even more distant fourth.

“When voters want to send a message it’s to people making the decisions,” he said. “It’s encouraging to see people sending a message on climate change.”

Last October, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned drastic cuts to emissions are needed in the next decade to prevent global warming from becoming catastrophic. That report suggested Canada’s Paris climate change commitment, which would mean cutting annual greenhouse gas emissions by about 28 per cent compared to where they are now, is nowhere near enough.

Singh won’t put a specific number on his targets yet but he agrees the motion is “subtly suggesting” the NDP would aim for the UN targets, which would mean Canada has to cut emissions almost in half by 2030.

The Liberal government’s climate plan, including the carbon tax, getting rid of coal as a source of electricity and subsidizing the purchase of electric cars, still leaves Canada nearly 90 million tonnes shy of hitting the existing goal.

To slash more deeply would require more drastic action in Canada’s energy sector. Oil and gas production and refining accounts for about one-quarter of all Canada’s emissions, but also more than six per cent of the economic activity and more than half a million direct and indirect jobs.

New Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has warned of the separatist angst growing in Alberta as the energy sector has struggled in recent years, but Singh said the NDP would ensure there is a plan to transition Alberta workers to the new-age economy.

“We need thousands and thousands of people to work to fight climate change,” he said.

Just Posted

Red Deerians shop for exotic plants at spring plant sale

Exotic plants are popular at the Red Deer & District Garden Club’s… Continue reading

Central Albertans come together to end MS

Red Deer’s Bre Fitzpatrick has MS. The medication the 34-year-old is on… Continue reading

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

HIGH LEVEL, Alta. — Crews battling an enormous wildfire just outside the… Continue reading

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

OTTAWA — While most Canadians firmly back the Charter of Rights and… Continue reading

Red Deer stamp-collecting event a hit, local club expected to start in fall

Postage stamp-loving Red Deerians can expect to have a place to gather… Continue reading

WATCH: Cars, airplanes, motorcyles on display at Red Deer Airport

Cars, motorcycle and airplane enthusiasts united at the Red Deer Airport Sunday… Continue reading

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Bid to get D-Day beaches added to list of UN World Heritage Sites in limbo

OTTAWA — The beaches of Normandy, where the Allies stormed ashore to… Continue reading

Could this 20-year-old Montreal polyglot be Canada’s most multilingual student?

MONTREAL — Georges Awaad answers the phone with a polite “Hello,” but… Continue reading

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals have laid out their proposal for rules… Continue reading

Trump’s trophy day of sumo, golf and cheeseburgers in Japan

TOKYO — President Donald Trump presented a special U.S.-made trophy to the… Continue reading

Two dead, one seriously injured, following explosion in Calgary home’s garage

CALGARY — Police in Calgary say they believe a house fire where… Continue reading

Raptors fans spill onto the streets ahead of potentially historic game

Cars honked, exhilarated fans chanted and long lines formed outside bars and… Continue reading

Most Read