Speaker: Ms. May
Time: 28/02/2022 23:25:20
Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP): Madam Speaker, I rise tonight in this debate of historical importance because the world has changed and I know that is an overused phrase, but we are not in the same place we were in a week ago because Vladimir Putin is even threatening the use of nuclear weapons after an illegal, appalling, aggressive assault on a democracy that did not threaten him.
One can look back and say what should we have done at different points in the history of the relationship with what is the former Soviet Union and the west. When the Soviet Union fell, I remember wishing in that moment wishing where is the Marshall plan? What are we going to do for the former states that were once the USSR, Russia and its neighbours. Clearly they need help. We did not offer. We were in a triumphal mood of western capitalist hegemony and we just abandoned the people of Russia. We essentially abandoned them to organized crime. Capitalism maybe, democracy not much, but a lot of plutocracy of natural resources and the people of Russia had reduced life expectancy in this time and still to this day. Their quality of life having gotten rid of the USSR, went down. That should never have happened. We should have been wishing for the peace dividend. We have been waiting for the peace dividend, but when we stopped putting so much money in budgets in the United States and all around the world into military industrial complex. We do not need it any more. There is no more USSR, but no, we found other enemies. We decided we did not need a peace dividend. We kept investing in war and we missed the chance.
This is probably the biggest chance we missed because Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan started down the path of global nuclear disarmament. Here we stand as Canada. We have a treaty to abolish nuclear weapons and Canada is not even a signatory. We need to pay attention to this, but we thought that nuclear weapons were in our rearview mirror. They are not. They are in stockpiles and in missiles and we need to pay attention again to the threat of nuclear war.
In tonight’s debate, which has been mostly very much on the same theme, I need to address there has been more than occasional misplaced notions that now we need to build more pipelines, that Europe needs more fossil fuels. If we look at what the leaders in Europe and in Ukraine are saying, we do not hear these calls. In fact, the Energy Commissioner for the European Union, Kadri Simson, said this: The crisis in Russia means that we have to “boost renewable energies and energy efficiency as fast as technologically possible”.
What is Germany saying? Germany just axed its biggest carbon project with Russia. Nord Stream 2 pipeline has been cancelled and what did the economy and climate minister who happens to be a Green Party co-leader, Robert Habeck, say in Scholz’s government: “Now is the time to accelerate and shift to renewables. It’s being a petrostate and having dictators of petrostates that makes the world less safe.”
Some of the big oil companies are saying they have to get out of Russia. Shell and BP have pulled their projects out of Russia, but look at Exxon. It is still in there. We have asked Exxon in every way we can why it is still invested in Russian oil and gas.
The French company, TotalEnergies, still invested in Russia.
The most compelling information about what should we do about fossil fuels in this crisis is to listen to the head of the IPCC Ukraine delegate, the scientist, Dr. Svitlana Krakovska , who said while bombs were falling near Kyiv: “Human induced climate change and the war on Ukraine have the same roots. Fossil fuels and our dependence on them. We will not surrender in Ukraine and we hope the world will not surrender in building a climate resilient future”.
I want to thank our Deputy Prime Minister. We are unique in the world that our Deputy Prime Minister happens to be an expert on Russia. She wrote the book Sale of the Century about the plutocracy and organized crime that took over the former USSR. I know that her background and with the unique honour of being personally banned from Russia by Vladimir Putin equips her well to lead the fight to get the SWIFT financial resources taken away from Russia.
My time is up. I look forward to questions.