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Tories Propose Carbon Tax Repeal After House Passes Climate Emergency Motion

Andrew Scheer/Flickr

With the votes barely counted on the climate emergency motion adopted by Canada’s House of Commons Monday evening, Conservative MP Ed Fast was scheduled to put forward a measure calling on the Trudeau government to repeal its carbon tax and “replace it with a real environmental plan.”

The emergency motion passed 186-63, CTV reports, with Liberals, New Democrats, and Greens voting in favour and Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives opposing it. It declares climate change a “real and urgent crisis, driven by human activity,” and calls for Canada to “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 2.0°C and pursuing efforts to keep global warming below 1.5°C.”

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The motion passed as international delegates began two weeks of mid-year climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany—and, more to the point, scarcely four months before the federal election this fall.

“Forcing a vote on the motion meant all MPs had to stand up and be counted, whether or not they support Canada meeting the Paris targets,” CTV notes. “This motion appeared to be drafted with Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer in mind,” less than 48 hours before he’s due to release his own climate plan.

When he first promised the plan more than a year ago, Scheer told CTV he would set out to meet Canada’s Paris targets without a carbon tax. Eight months later, he walked back the Paris reference, but insisted the plan would lay out “meaningful reductions” in the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Several news reports over the last couple of weeks have suggested the Conservatives will propose to offset the country’s largely fossil-driven GHG emissions by earning international credits for funding decarbonization projects overseas.

On iPolitics, self-described Process Nerd Kady O’Malley predicted [2] that Fast’s carbon tax repeal motion was “guaranteed to go down to a rousing defeat when it goes to a vote,” adding that “the timing of the debate itself may be less than ideal from a strategic perspective,” just a day before Scheer’s long-awaited policy reveal. The sequence of events “will allow the Liberals to respond to every critique by pointing out, not inaccurately, that the Conservatives have yet to provide any details on how their party—and a Scheer-led government—would combat global warming,” she wrote.

On Monday night, meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Scheer, and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh were all absent for the Commons vote on the climate emergency resolution, CTV notes. They were all out of town, attending a victory parade for the National Basketball Association’s Toronto Raptors.