Why climate change barely registered in Canadian elections

Canada may be known for its cold, but this summer some parts of the country were hell. The western provinces have suffered record heat ...

Canada may be known for its cold, but this summer some parts of the country were hell.

The western provinces have suffered record heat waves, which was a confirmed cause of death for 569 people in British Columbia. Forest fires burned over two million acres of forest in this province and razed a small town, while droughts devastated cattle ranchers in Manitoba.

Extreme weather conditions have intensified the already high level of interest and concern of Canadians about climate change. But during the campaign, the climate barely registered.

Analysts say it was because of the clever maneuvering of the Conservative Party.

Erin O’Toole, the party leader, has turned his back on his promise to never impose carbon taxes in a plan he unveiled this spring. While the Conservative version rates carbon lower than Mr. Trudeau’s plan, and has a very different system of tax refunds to individuals, the Prime Minister can no longer say that the Conservatives will not tax carbon and have not climate plan.

“I think the Conservative Party presented a more ambitious platform than in 2019, in part to get this off the agenda,” said Kathryn Harrison, professor of political science at the University of Columbia. British.

The conservative plan, presented well before the elections, proposes to reduce emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels within nine years, Canada’s original target in the Paris Agreement.

But Mr. Trudeau has since raised the country’s target for the same period between 40 and 45 percent. Claiming that the Conservatives’ plan would set the country back on its progress in tackling climate change, he cited the unpopular policies of his predecessor, Stephen Harper, whose administration environmental scientists muzzled.

The Green Party, which has made climate change its main problem, has called for a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2030.

It’s an ambitious goal, but lacks detail, said Nicholas Rivers, Canada Research Chair in Climate and Energy Policy and Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa.

The Green Party was distracted by infighting that prompted its leader, Annamie Paul, to consider quitting. Celebration published its platform on September 7, late in the brief campaign.

“It’s hard to believe they have a credible plan to make it happen,” said Professor Rivers. “I think the Greens have partly given up their leadership on the climate issue.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Why climate change barely registered in Canadian elections
Why climate change barely registered in Canadian elections
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