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Posted: April 8, 2019

MP calls for bolder action on climate change

Member of Parliament for Kootenay – Columbia Wayne Stetski late last week asked when the federal Liberal government will end fossil fuel subsidies and help workers transition to the green jobs of the future.

MP Wayne Stetski

MP Stetski said his constituents are calling for action on climate change, highlighting students from Nelson who recently participated in a climate change strike and Ktunaxa students in grades five and six who wrote him passionate letters. He hand delivered copies of the letters to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Prime Minister last month.

Stetski raised the issue in the House of Common’s Question Period on the heels of troubling reports released this week. A report commissioned by Environment and Climate Change Canada released on Monday found that Canada is warming at twice the global average. The study found that addition to the higher temperatures, Canada is experiencing increases of “extreme fire weather” and water supply shortages in the summer.

Last Tuesday, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development tabled her Spring 2019 Reports in Parliament, which included audits on tax and non-tax fossil fuel subsidies.

The Environment Commissioner found the Liberal government is failing to identify and assess a complete list of fossil fuel subsidies. The government only looked at 23% of government departments to identify non-tax subsidies and didn’t consider the expansion and purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline as a potential subsidy. The Commissioner also found the government’s assessments of fossil fuel subsidies failed to look at long-term environmental and social considerations on an equal basis as economic factors.

Responding to the reports Stetski said, “continuing to subsidize the fossil fuel industry is not climate leadership. The impacts of climate change are already being felt in Kootenay – Columbia and across the country. We are running out of time to mitigate the damage and we need to act now with more ambitious GHG reductions and investments in the green economy.”

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