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Trudeau Environment Minister announces intensification of climate policy

Thomas Lambert

March 21, 2022

Former eco-terrorist and current Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault announced the government’s plans to intensify spending over climate change, despite the ongoing fuel crisis.

“In every facet of society, there is a recognition that the clean future is the only future. And that a clean economy provides great opportunities for those who are ready to take the reigns,” Guilbeault said on March 20.

“By 2025, clean techs contribution to Canada’s GDP is expected to grow to $80 billion from $26 billion in 2016.”

In a subsequent statement, Guilbeault reiterated his stance that the world needs to reach “net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050” to save the planet from climate change.

“The Net-Zero Advisory Body’s advice is clear: we need to make progress across all parts of the economy and particularly in high-emitting sectors such as oil and gas, transportation, and buildings,” says Guilbeault.

“… The Government of Canada is committed to taking a whole-of-Canada approach, engaging with Canadians from different regions, industries, and areas of expertise in order to achieve our climate objectives. I look forward to the Advisory Body’s continued involvement as we work toward net-zero emissions by 2050.”

The 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan will not be presented until the end of March. However, as gas prices soar to their highest levels in human history, the government’s plan for a reinvigorated assault against the fossil fuel industry is probably the last thing Canadians want to hear.

Moreover, the green tech investments are unlikely to provide respite, as Guilbeault has routinely favoured ineffectual solar and wind money drains rather than sustainable nuclear power — the only reasonable alternative energy source to coal, oil, or natural gas.

Indeed, as David Staples notes, Guilbeault has a long history of outright hostility towards both made-in-Canada nuclear power and Alberta’s oil and gas industry.

“Nuclear power — a made-in-Canada system, which unlike unreliable and imported wind and solar technology provides steady low-carbon energy that can safely and efficiently build up a thriving modern economy — has just been classified by Guilbeault and the Trudeau government essentially as something foul, something sinful, something unhealthy,” writes Staples.

“Guilbeault, a long-time anti-nuclear activist, is creating a $5 billion Government of Canada bond to fund green energy projects, but he’s made clear that certain industries, such as nuclear and coal-replacing natural gas, need not apply.”

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney also notes the federal government’s “irrational” position regarding energy production and setting realistic standards when attempting to reduce emissions.

“It’s bizarre to see the federal government exclude from their green bonds program the two things that are most likely to reduce emissions — nuclear and natural gas. This is a triumph of ideology over science.”

It is unclear how badly new climate change policies will affect Canadians. 

As gas prices soar, Kenney has already had to pass legislation to slash the provincial gas tax to counterbalance Trudeau’s rising carbon tax on April 1.

However, other provinces aren’t so fortunate, and prices have already exceeded or are expected to exceed $2.00 per litre, which for most Canadians, is entirely unaffordable for an extended period.

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