You might have never before heard a national leader declare a trade deal done, or a peace pact achieved while the signatories are still squabbling over the terms but, as usual, when it comes to climate policy the normal realities don’t apply. There was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau late Friday, flanked by the premiers, announcing that they had “developed a framework” of a climate plan.
This, while Saskatchewan’s premier stated he was adamantly opposed to its most fundamental terms, Manitoba’s premier said he wouldn’t accept the conditions, and B.C.’s premier, Christy Clark, after first saying she wouldn’t sign, agreeing only with the proviso that the federal model for annual national carbon-tax hikes, which underpins the entire framework, might never unfold as planned.
The prime minister resorted to a mushy porridge of twee to describe the framework to cover for its severe defectiveness, pronouncing that he and the premiers had done “what Canadians expected of us, and of themselves, to do all we can to make our world better for our children and grandchildren.”
Trudeau was determined to come up with something he could call a plan to avoid becoming the fourth prime minister to commit to emission targets without actually having a way to meet them.
Perhaps he considers it progress that, instead of no plan, he now has a weak plan complete with exit clauses and lacking the full support of the provinces it relies on. Federal discussions with the provinces also revealed that meeting the targets could anyway all come down to Ottawa buying its way with carbon “offset” permits from other countries when emission levels fail to reach targets agreed to in the Paris UN climate talks.
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