We are nearing the 100-day mark for Canada’s environmental superstar Steven Guilbeault. You remember. The Quebec MP was a byproduct of the October election last year. He had lots of promise and was put to work to save the world. Prime minister Trudeau appointed him minister of the environment and climate change. Almost immediately, he was off to the United Nations COP 26 climate change conference in Glasgow.
And Glasgow was not his first rodeo. He has been to most of the United Nations climate change conferences. He can probably discuss the minuscule progress that has been made on the promises of the Paris Accord. Canada, he can report, is no leader—unless you are measuring the lack of progress on vague promises.
By the time Guilbeault got back, the house of commons was ready for recess and he likely spent the holidays as his reading week.
January has allowed him some travel time and he went to Alberta to meet those he was supposed to challenge. While we agree that knowing the enemy is important, there is no need for him to buy into their BS. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) told him that they are bullishly forecasting $11.6 billion investment in new oil sands production in 2022. This money is on top of the more than $22 billion of new money earmarked for expansion of natural gas and regular oil production.
They should bear in mind that Guilbeault is the guy whose job in the federal cabinet it is to lower the level of greenhouse emissions by 2030 and further to net zero by 2050. Exactly how he is going to do that has quite a few Canadians puzzled.
He explained to the CAPP people that as a federal minister, he has no jurisdiction over provincial resource development other than to set rules to curtail their greenhouse gas emissions.
Where he might have some influence would be if he went back to Ottawa and told the prime minister that he needs to stop the twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline. British Columbia is going to need the original pipeline for a few more years to deliver aviation and other processed fuels. What the twinning of the pipeline is for is to accommodate all that diluted bitumen from the tar sands that CAPP wants to sell overseas.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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