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Alberta Politics

liberals bury climate change policy on page 46.

The Liberal Party released its full campaign platform today. The announcement was live-streamed online, and contrasting the closed-and-controlled Conservative Party campaign, the Liberals gave online viewers the opportunity to ask questions about their platform.

Andrew Leach, an Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta School of Business, asked some key questions about what the platform includes for climate change and Alberta in his recent Globe & Mail column:

The Liberal Party’s key climate change policy announcement, and by far the most important environmental position taken thus far in the campaign, was buried on page 46 of its policy platform.

You are forgiven if you missed it since Michael Ignatieff did not mention it once. In fact, when asked a direct question on the Liberal Party’s policies on climate change, he listed removal of oil sands tax credits and a re-vamped green tax credit program.

He did not mention that the Liberals have committed to an aggressive cap-and-trade program which would, “set a ceiling on the total amount of permissible greenhouse gas emissions by large industrial facilities.” By not discussing this policy at all, the Liberals have left many key questions unanswered. Read more…

During his campaign kick-off in Edmonton on March 26, NDP leader Jack Layton only briefly mentioned the oil sands, an issue that he elaborated on further in a visit to Montreal during the following week later.

5 replies on “liberals bury climate change policy on page 46.”

“During his campaign kick-off in Edmonton on March 26, NDP leader Jack Layton only briefly mentioned the oil sands, an issue that he elaborated on further in a visit to Montreal during the following week later.”

Don’t worry – he’ll be out here stumping for Duncan at least one more time – I’m sure he’ll reiterate his “dirty oil” comments then!

Okay Rob, that’s a little ridiculous. Burying a policy with such massive impacts is disingenuous, but regardless of whether you agree with it or not you can’t seriously believe it’s just a complicated excuse to set up transfer payments.

Look, we’ve structured our province’s economy around resource extraction that produces an incredible amount of pollution, especially in fossil fuels. We have to own that fact. Some of this — particularly in carbon emissions — has very grave consequences for people not just in our province, but around the world. A cap-and-trade system to reduce our carbon emissions as a country will obviously disproportionately affect those provinces who choose to promote industrial development that produces more emissions.

We can probably agree that emissions reductions are a goal we want to pursue. If so, this could be a strong tool to promote that shift, depending on how it’s implemented. And if our commitment to a low-carbon economy is genuine, there’s no reason our province needs to carry undue burdens on our “backs” too far into the future.

Jack Layton is a coward. If you’re going to bash the oil sands, and promote policies that will cost people their jobs, do it to their faces. Do it in Alberta, not Montreal.

Chris is right, we should take responsibility for the environmental consequences of our provincial energy policies.

And you know what? So should everyone else. It’s hypocritical to target just CO2 and ignore the forests and wildlife affected by hydroelectric, or the radiation and water usage of nuclear.

In short, we’d like to see the rest of the country commit to reducing their own energy and CO2 usage before we feel too guilty about ours.

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