Only weeks away from the federal elections and having made history with the largest national climate march, it is time for a recap of just what each party promises to do on behalf of mother Earth, naturally beginning with the Green Party.
The group presents ambitious goals. Should they achieve a majority, their first action would be pushing a Climate Change Act compelling companies to cut their emissions a whopping 60 per cent by 2030, and then up to 100 per cent by 2050. This objective will be met through the elimination of fossil fuels alongside major investments in renewable energy. Other actions include transitioning energy workers into green industries, retrofitting infrastructure to becoming environmentally friendlier, and transforming communities to zero-waste producers. All beautiful on paper; putting aside the consideration of massive costs, limited resources, and the assumption that the Greens will hold office for 30 years.
The Liberals and New Democrats, in an almost completely similar fashion, also seek to cut emissions by 2030 and eliminate them by 2050. Moreover, their platforms even include increased funding towards renewable energies, country-wide modifications of buildings to becoming sustainable, turning communities into zero-waste zones… and so on. But hey, the Liberals have a different idea regarding the transition of workers into green industries, with a proposed Just Transition Act. No, wait… it’s the exact same thing that the Greens and NDP promise..
At least the Conservative Party gains points for making environmental protection more… corporate? Dubbed “A Real Plan to Protect Our Environment,” as opposed to a “fake one,” the CPC has prepared a 33-page pamphlet highlighting their plans for a better environment. Most of the proposals revolve around cutting tax rates for companies reducing emissions, businesses producing green technologies and households decreasing energy consumption. More of an incentive plan than solid action. At least the Conservatives are promoting the conservation of migratory bird species… funded through the sale of licenses to hunters who want to shoot them.
Which is more than we can say for the People’s Party of Canada, whose plan is basically that they have no plan. The PPC’s page claims that “alarmist” trends regarding global warming have led to “billions of dollars spent at home and abroad”. Their solution? Withdrawing from the Paris Accord, abandoning emission targets, abolishing carbon tax systems and eliminating green energy subsidies. However, their platform does include investment in “adaptation strategies,” just in case this whole climate change thing turns out to not be a myth, so there’s that.
But what about Bloc Québécois? What plans do they have for the improvement of the country? Not much, according to their French-only website. They support remaining in the Kyoto accord, cutting waste and switching to more ecologically friendly sources of energy. All that stands out, in typical BQ fashion, are proposals setting emission limits on other provinces and having the final say on any project involving Quebec. In other words, nothing new.
Graphic by Victoria Blair