Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer unveiled his long-awaited climate policy for the fall federal election on Wednesday, pledging to scrap the carbon pricing program and focus on promoting the green technology sector.
“More and more Canadians are starting to realize that paying a tax isn’ going to help the environment,” Scheer told gathered reporters from a protected park in Quebec, adding that “a carbon tax is not an environmental plan.”
Though he recognizes that climate change is real, a view supported by the majority of the international community, Greenpeace said that Scheer’s 55 policy proposals presented Wednesday make up a plan “only an oil lobbyist could love”.
The 60-page document released by Scheer and his Conservatives sets strict emissions standards for major greenhouse gas emitters. If the companies exceed the limits, the corporations would pay into a fund that would in turn be invested in government-approved clean organizations.
Scheer said the policy would force companies to to make emissions reduction part of heir business models in a move similar in concept to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax, however, the Tory leader insisted that a tax is not the way to go.
“Conservatives fundamentally believe that you cannot tax your way to a cleaner environment. Instead, the answer lies in technology,” he told supporters, adding his party in power would “actually create more jobs in Canada through technological growth while at the same time lowering global emissions.”
“Canadians expect results. And Conservatives know that Liberals are great at making promises but Conservatives are great at delivering. Because protecting the environment is a core conservative principle.”
“A Real Plan to Protect Our Environment” was released in full online where Scheer writes that his policy is “Canada’s best chance to meet the Paris targets”, emphasizing that his plan will lower emissions and leave more money in the pockets of Canadians coast-to-coast.
Scheer cited research by the parliamentary budget officer, or PBO, saying that his push for rapid technological innovation and adoption could lower the country’s baselines emissions by as much as 101 megatonnes by 2030.
The ruling Liberals’ response came from environment minister Catherine McKenna, who said that any credible climate plan includes a price on carbon with the idea that consumers and producers will switch from fossil fuels to cleaner sources of energy.
Calling it a “fake plan”, McKenna said that “I guess we now know why Andrew Scheer waited until the dying hours of this Parliament to shovel out his ideas to tackle climate change”, adding that he had “no numbers, no serious measures and no commitment to move the needle on climate action.”
The Post has reached out to local federal candidates for comment.