December 9, 2016
Ottawa, ON – Official Opposition Critic for the Environment and Climate Change, Ed Fast, today responded to the outcome of the First Ministers’ Meeting which sought to establish a pan-Canadian framework on Climate Change. Despite repeated promises to usher in a new era of cooperative federalism, the Prime Minister failed to achieve an agreement on climate change with all of the provinces and territories.
“Developing a credible plan to fight climate change involves having a frank discussion about how much Canadians are willing to pay for it,” noted Fast. “Absent from the Liberal plan is any economic impact analysis that supports the Prime Minister’s assertion that thousands of jobs will be created without any impact on Canadian families and businesses.”
Fast explained that Canadians feel betrayed because the Prime Minister did not deliver on his promise of growing the economy while protecting the environment. With a new $50 carbon tax, higher prices at the pump, and higher electricity rates due to the accelerated phase-out of coal-fired electricity, the Liberal climate plan will dramatically increase the cost of living for ordinary Canadians, without any guarantee that Canada will achieve its greenhouse gas emission targets.
“The Liberals have completely ignored our trade relationship with the United States, which plans to lower electricity rates and dramatically reduce business taxes to 15%,” said Fast. “With the Liberals increasing taxes and electricity rates in Canada, we are placing our companies at a serious competitive disadvantage when they compete with their American counterparts.”
Fast also noted that the Liberals’ climate change plan means that, in order to achieve its greenhouse gas emission targets, Canada will be spending billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money abroad by buying carbon credits from places like China and Russia while Canadians are faced with higher grocery, gasoline and heating bills.
It is unclear what parts of the Liberals’ national climate change plan will actually be implemented, and that uncertainty has caused businesses to stand on the sidelines and wait, discouraging investment and hurting the economy and job growth. Furthermore, the plan does not include a detailed account of how Canada will actually meet its 2030 emissions targets.
“The Conservative Opposition will continue to push the Liberals to provide Parliament with a detailed economic impact analysis and a clear timeline for policy implementation,” said Fast. “The last thing our country needs is a repeat of the disastrous mistakes in Ontario under Premier Wynne and Gerald Butts, which resulted in the highest energy costs in North America, crippling low-income Canadians and businesses struggling to cope with steep price increases.”