Justin Talks to Gazette
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau hosted a press conference on Monday June 29th at Jericho Beach to announce pledged policies should the party assume power in the next election.
Mr. Trudeau foreshadowed his announcement by highlighting his connection with the outdoors and with the beach they were gathered on where he used to take sailing lessons as a child.
Trudeau’s focus, he told the gathered press, was “the environment and the economy. They go together. They go together like paddles and canoes. If you don’t take care of both, you’re never going to get where you’re going.”
Action on Climate Change:
An invitation for all premiers to attend the 2015 United Nation’s Climate Change Conference in Paris this November.
A first ministers meeting on climate change held within 90 days to plan for national emissions-reduction targets and to provide support to provinces in designing individual carbon pricing policies.
Renewable Energy and Economic Sustainability:
To phase out fossil fuel industry subsidies, in line with the pledge made by the Conservative government at G20 in 2009.
$200 million per year investment in strategy for innovation and clean technologies in the forestry, fisheries, mining, energy and agricultural sectors.
$100 million to support clean technology companies and create more ‘clean jobs’.
Pledge to work with the US and Mexico to develop a North American clean energy and environmental agreement.
Formalising a moratorium to ban crude oil tanker traffic in northern BC waters (effectively blocking the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project).
A 5% increase in protected marine and coastal areas by 2017 and 10% by 2020.
Transparency and Accountability:
“We’ll put some teeth back into the environmental review process,” said Trudeau, with an immediate public review of government environmental assessment, with First Nations, Inuit and Métis consultation.
In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation, free admission to Canadian National Parks in 2017, paid for by cuts to the Canada 150 advertising budget.
Not all responses to the announcement were positive.
In an interview with CBC News, Malcolm Allen, NDP deputy critic for energy and resources, criticized the Liberal Leader’s speech as “a whole pile of smoke and mirrors.” Allen claimed the plan to attend the UN Climate Change Conference, then task premiers to formulate a carbon pricing scheme, was lacking in leadership.
Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq and Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford provided a joint statement criticizing the proposal for a carbon pricing scheme as unnecessarily increasing costs to Canadian families.
After giving his speech, Justin Trudeau sat down with Gazette’s Dani Kremeniuk and Andy Patton to discuss his approach to politics.
Stay tuned for Gazette’s full interview.
By Jill Plant