Security threat of climate emergency ignored by Finance Minister.

Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands) commented on Minister Morneau’s fall economic update.

“There’s an utter lack of understanding and virtual silence on the climate emergency we face,” said Ms. May. “Nothing in the report responds to or even mentions the recent warning from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

“Minister Morneau offers the status quo repetition that the government is bringing in carbon pricing. But then taxpayers are spending 4.5 billion dollars on an existing pipeline and there’s no mention of the cost if the government goes ahead with the expansion. The government has committed to spending a further 10 to 13 billion dollars on a pipeline that no one needs.”

“Some dimensions of the update are, of course, laudable. For example, helping Canada’s charitable sector and recognizing the need to help Canadian journalism. Though, whether it’s enough remains to be determined. We are heading into an election year and we know from the experience of other countries that voters require credible and impartial journalism. ”

“In light of the extra monies brought in because of unexpected revenues, there are missed opportunities. Why not bring in pharmacare? 3.5 million Canadians can’t afford the medication they need. And why not use some of that housing money earmarked to be spent after the next election and spend it now?”

“But again, the fundamental problem with this economic update is the inability to take seriously the recommendations made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. We must hold global temperature averages to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. The status quo won’t do. We need to make the necessary changes to our economy. Urgently we need to eliminate fossil fuels in producing electricity. Facilitate the interprovincial transfer of renewable energy, for example, between British Columbia and Alberta. Invest into infrastructure that supports electric vehicles and give incentives to Canadians to retrofit their homes and prompt our entrepreneurs to develop green technologies. Canada must step up to commit to 1.5 with a plan that gets us there.”