Is Climate Change in Canada a national emergency? Read on!

In May 2019, Catherine McKenna, then Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, submitted a Resolution for adoption by the House of Commons that stated:

“. . . climate change is an urgent crisis that affects the health and security of Canadians, as well as impacting the Canadian economy . . . .”

Michael Chong, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Wellington/ Halton Hills, spoke against the Resolution, which he characterized as an example of action by a government that makes grandiose pronouncements on measures against Climate Change, but does little to back them up.

In his remarks Chong candidly recognized that when his party Conservatives was in power (2008 -2015) they avoided the subject of climate change to the greatest extent possible. He strongly emphasized that

“Until we face the facts, we will never devise the solutions necessary to up hold the word and the signature of Canada to the international documents. “

When questioned where the Conservative Party stood on climate change, Chong advised that the Conservative policy on climate change would be released in the course of the 2019 Federal election campaign.

On June 20, 2019 members of the House of Commons voted in favour of the resolution 186 to 63. The Liberals, the NDP and the Green Party voted in favour while the Conservative Party and the leader of the People’s Party voted against the resolution.

The motion, put forward by Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna, calls on the House to recognize that “climate change is a real and urgent crisis, driven by human activity” and to “declare that Canada is in a national climate emergency which requires, as a response, that Canada commit to meeting its national emissions target under the Paris Agreement and to making deeper reductions in line with the Agreement’s objective of holding global warming below two degrees Celsius and pursuing efforts to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

When the Conservative Party’s policy was released, environmentalists criticized its terms as both vague and weak. Many voters remained convinced that Canada and the world would be severely impacted if climate change was not checked. Many of these voters who had been wavering in their support of the Liberals, returned to the Liberal fold.

The result: this support enabled the Liberal Party to win enough seats to remain the largest party in the House of Commons. As its policy on climate change is supported by the NDP and the Greens, the Liberals will continue in power as a minority government!!

The conclusion is that debate on and passage of the emergency resolution on climate change influenced the results of the 2019 election.

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