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