Good Sunday Morning – June 18

Good Sunday Morning!

June 18th and the fourth anniversary of the Parliamentary motion that we are in a climate emergency.  Reminiscent of Greta Thunberg’s great line that “then our leaders began to act…” which she explained meant they acted the way actors do on a stage. They pretended to take action.

This week, in response to a motion from Mike Morrice (Green MP for Kitchener Centre) in the House, and Senator Rosa Galvez (Quebec Independent), the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) released updates on the federal government’s ongoing subsidies to fossil fuels.  We held a press conference on Thursday to lament yet another broken Liberal promise. Export Development Canada increased its fossil fuel supports. The PBO numbers did not include the costs of the Crown Corporation building the Trans Mountain pipeline (last estimated cost $31 billion) nor the interest costs piling up on the TMX debt, for which we will all be on the hook.

Here is the CPAC video of our whole press conference and some print media coverage: Green Caucus and Senator Galvez call for end to fossil fuel subsidies

‘We are running out of time’: Trudeau Liberals under fire after Star reveals slow pace of climate action | Toronto Star: Alex Ballingall

Canada’s coming announcement on fossil fuel subsidies will be precedent-setting

In other climate news, on Thursday, the government tabled the long-awaited legislation for a “Just Transition” as promised in the 2019 Liberal platform.  The federal Liberals have now been scared off the words “Just Transition” by the combined Alberta voices of Rachel Notley and Danielle Smith. It is now about Sustainable Jobs. Back in 2019, a major task force report set out the principles for a Just Transition. But Bill C-50 ignores that past work, setting out a blank slate for a to-be-formed advisory council, to develop a plan by 2025. A familiar story of delay. After all, it is not as though we have any reason for urgency.

For today’s letter, I had a request from a loyal reader to explain what I am doing on the furor du jour – foreign interference in our elections.

Both Mike Morrice and I had voted for a public inquiry into the allegations that the government of the People’s Republic of China had interfered in the 2021 election. For both of us, this was not a criticism of David Johnston, our former governor General.  In fact, when we voted for a public inquiry, our former Governor General was not in the picture.  On March 7, Justin Trudeau rejected a public inquiry and announced he would soon be appointing a sole “special rapporteur” to investigate the charges that China had interfered. I immediately told the media that anything short of a public inquiry would not work. The Canadian public would need more information than a sole and private review could accommodate. The Prime Minister appointed our much-loved and respected former Governor General on March 15, 2023.

Meanwhile, as noted in an earlier GSM, I was the only MP to raise concerns that anonymous leaks from CSIS were being allowed to destroy reputations. I pointed out in the House that it was not as though CSIS never made mistakes. “Just ask Mahar Arar.”

On May 23, 2023, when David Johnston’s report was issued, as Greens we immediately accepted the offer to obtain top-secret security clearance to read the documents that Johnston had relied upon. The other opposition leaders took different approaches. Conservative and Bloc leaders rejected the very notion of having access to this sensitive intelligence. Both Poilievre and Blanchet claimed it was a trap to gag them.  I think that is nonsense and so does Jagmeet Singh. We are both going through the process of obtaining clearance.

With Johnston’s resignation, I have been in consultations with Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic Leblanc about the process from here – even suggesting some names of possible Commissioners.  I will keep you posted – but of course not about anything “top secret!”

Tomorrow night, I will join Jonathan Pedneault for whatever results we have in NDG-Westmount. Fingers and toes crossed for all four Greens in the four votes tomorrow. Thanks so much to Doug, Nic, Cheryle, and JP!

We are also so hoping for Camille Currie in the BC by-election in John Horgan’s old riding.

It is not too late to help out our four federal Greens and Camille in BC. Please send what you can!

Lots of love and hope for better days!


P.S.  More moments in the House this week!

Mike: Canada Disability Benefit needs to be passed with urgency

Elizabeth: Roberts Bank approval will cause species extinction

Elizabeth: The Case Against the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project

Mike: Government is outsourcing climate plan to fossil fuel giants

Elizabeth: Child care deserts rampant across Canada

Elizabeth calls for all-party cabinet to address environmental disasters


Saanich-Gulf Islands Greens