Dan Albas

Dan Albas

COLUMN: Concerns raised about federal climate action policy

Taking action on our environment should not be done divisively in a manner

This week it was the Leader of the Official Opposition’s turn to announce his appointments of shadow cabinet critics in the new Parliament.

I was honoured to be returned to the role of Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change. This news arrived to me as I was attending the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

As I mentioned in my report last week, it was earlier at this conference where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that, “Canada will impose a hard cap on emissions from the oil and gas sector.”

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The announcement provoked much discussion, given that the exact details of this announcement to get emissions to net zero by 2050 within this Canadian industry remain unknown.

I also raised the concern that other countries such as Saudi Arabia and USA, who import oil and gas into Canada, are not following this policy of setting emissions caps or a “price on pollution.”

My weekly question was, “How do you think the government should deal with oil and gas imports from other countries that are not subject to these same types of policies?”

There was a significant amount of well thought out responses to this question and I would like to sincerely thank those who took the time to share their ideas.

One other challenge has also since emerged. Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has stated that at no time did the Prime Minister or the Minister for Environment and Climate Change ever pick up the phone to consult with, or otherwise communicate, about the policy promise to cap Canadian oil and gas emissions.

This is problematic because oil and gas regulation in Canada remains an area of provincial jurisdiction.

It is also my concern that actions to reduce our emissions here in Canada are important. Likewise, the need for the federal government to work with the provinces is critical.

Taking action on our environment should not be done divisively in a manner that pits regions of Canada against each other.

I believe strongly that the Prime Minister has an obligation to work with the premiers and that includes consultation and communication on policies that are within provincial jurisdiction.

My question this week is: Do you agree?

Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola.

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ColumnistFederal Politics