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Letter to the Editor In response to Liberal candidate Michael Den Tandt's letter

flooding climate crisis

Letter to the Editor — Michael den Tandt got two things right in his recent response to my letter on the climate crisis – we don’t have 10 years to wait, and I was the NDP candidate in 2015. In my letter, I said I was biased. But I’m not wrong about the Liberal’s plan.

Fun fact: The current Liberal plan is not far off the ‘Green Shift’ that Stephane Dion championed in the 2008 campaign. If that plan had been implemented, it might have bought us some time. Instead we got Stephen Harper and a decade of ramped up carbon emissions.

Mr Den Tandt says the Liberal climate plan is working. Fortunately, you don’t have to believe me that it’s not. Here’s an accounting, and I quote …

“We now have twelve years of data" — covering 2005 to 2017. At this half-way point, emissions have only declined by two per cent. Sure, that is technically a "downward" trend. But, as my chart on the right shows, it is so foot-draggingly slow that it will take two centuries for Canada to reach its Paris target at that pace.” (

Mr Den Tandt wants helpful suggestions, not partisan shots across the bow. OK, since I’m biased, here’s a few from the NDP platform …

  • End Liberal & Conservative subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. Both Parties believe you can subsidize gas and oil and save the environment – talk about having your cake and eating it too. Ending subsidies means a $3.3 billion injection into a greener economy. (The Liberals will continue their subsidies)
  • Put the money into greening the economy, and 300,000 new jobs, by investing in made-in-Canada zero-emission vehicles, retro-fitting office buildings and housing, and moving the electricity grid from oil and gas to green power production.
  • Set realistic targets: 38% below 2005 GHG emissions by 2030. (The Liberal target is the lower Paris Accord commitment – which they will not meet). And strengthen emission standards.
  • Continue to put a price on carbon with tax rebates to Canadians.
  • Raise the money needed by raising taxes on rich corporations (including big Liberal donors but not small businesses), closing tax loopholes used by the wealthy, and instituting a super-wealth tax (which will raise $70 billion over 10 years). Remember, climate change is already costing Canadians almost $2 billion dollars a year in insurance costs alone.

As I said in my previous letter, that’s not far off what the Greens are proposing. Except (and it’s a big exception) the Greens are even more ambitious in their targets. So ambitious in fact, that they are in danger of running their ship aground on the rocky political shoals of big oil politics.

So. The Greens are on the rocks. The Liberals are 200 years too late. The Conservative plan is ‘meh’. And the plan for the People’s Party of Canada – well they have no plan because they don’t believe the science.

David McLaren


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Updated March 12, 2020.

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