Canada needs national leadership on climate change, Elizabeth May says

OTTAWA – Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Saanich – Gulf Islands, issued the following statement today concerning Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s announcement on the proposed Cap and Trade program in partnership with the province of Quebec:

“Ontario, Quebec and B.C. have been proactive in finding some way to be part of the solution, while Harper’s polices ‎continue to make Canada overall part of the problem. While I want to commend the efforts of Ontario and Quebec in making progress at the provincial level, they have chosen a far less than ideal pricing scheme.

“The absence of federal leadership has created a patchwork quilt of pricing systems across Canada. This is inefficient and a challenge for business to deal with a different carbon price, differently applied, coast-to-coast to coast.

“If I were Prime Minister, conversations with provinces for a national plan would have started years ago. Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq’s attempts to use the provinces as political cover for a federal government that cancelled Canada’s national climate plan and did not replace it over the last nine years it has been in power is the height of hypocrisy.”

Bruce Hyer, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay – Superior North, continued:

“I am disappointed that Ontario has chosen a Cap and Trade program, which was shown to be expensive, bureaucratic, and ineffective in Europe. While it is good that Ontario recognizes the need to price CO2 emissions, what we really need is leadership from Ottawa.

“Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau have no plan at all. The Green Party of Canada unanimously supports the Carbon Fee & Dividend model, which is revenue neutral and would reduce both CO2 and poverty.”

Claire Martin, Green Party candidate for North Vancouver, concluded:

“Any price on carbon is helpful. We must not forget as well that since the implementation of a modest price on carbon pollution, a revenue-neutral carbon tax in 2012, B.C. has reduced fossil fuel consumption by 16%, while it’s economy has performed better than the Canadian average.”