Tomi Lahren: Mr. President, please save California from liberals and liberal policies   

The people of California — even the liberals who won’t admit it — deserve better than this.

Cobden reminds the Liberals in Parliament that the motto of their party is "Economy, Retrenchment, and Reform!" (1862)   


Cobden reminds the Liberals in Parliament that the motto of their party is “Economy, Retrenchment, and Reform!” (1862)


True or false? We fact check the federal leaders’ debate   


OTTAWA—Six party leaders squared off in a sometimes frenzied, sometimes humorous, sometimes confusing debate in Gatineau, Que. Monday night.

While there was plenty of substantial (and relatively honest) disagreements on policy and politics over the course of the two-hour debate, the Star catalogued a few questionable claims from all six party leaders taking part in Monday’s debate.

Here they are, in the order the leaders’ fielded questions Monday night.

Justin Trudeau, Liberal leader

The claim: Trudeau said the Liberals have brought Canada “three quarters” of the way to its emissions reduction target under the Paris Agreement, which is 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

The facts: The latest national tally of emissions is from 2017. It says Canada emitted 716 million tonnes of greenhouse gas that year — just two per cent lower than in 2005. Moreover, the federal government projects that measures in the Liberal climate plan — including the carbon price, methane regulations and more — will reduce emissions to about 592 million tonnes by 2030. That’s only about 20 per cent below 2005 levels, or two thirds of the way to the target. The Liberals claim, however, that future technological improvement and impacts of incoming public transit expansions and more will ensure Canada closes the gap and exceeds the 2030 target.

Verdict: Misleading.

Jagmeet Singh, NDP leader

The claim: Singh accused Trudeau’s Liberals of giving away $14 billion to big corporations so they could buy jets and limousines.

The facts: Last November, the Liberals announced in their fall economic update that they would spend $14 billion on a slew of tax measures for Canadian businesses. These measures allowed companies that invest in “clean energy” to immediately write off spending on new equipment and machinery, while other businesses could now write off capital spending more quickly. These changes were explicitly designed, the Liberals said, to boost manufacturing and clean energy production. The NDP has attacked the measures as irresponsible corporate giveaways ever since, claiming it would help big businesses buy more jets and limos.

Verdict: Misleading.

Andrew Scheer, Conservative leader

The claim: “We’re going to pay for those (tax cuts and credits) by cutting corporate welfare and reducing Canada foreign aid budget by 25 per cent.”

The facts: Scheer has proposed cutting foreign aid and reviewing “corporate welfare” to find $3 billion in savings per year. But Conservatives have already announced spending that exceeds those savings, according to independent costing of their promises by the Parliamentary Budget Office.

Verdict: Misleading. The two cuts Scheer mentions, if fully implemented, would go some of the way to paying for their spending — but wouldn’t cover the whole bill.

Elizabeth May, Green leader

The claim: May defended her party’s “fully costed” election platform, and said it was approved as responsible by former Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page.

The facts: Initially, Page and his team at the University of Ottawa’s Institute for Fiscal Studies and Democracy gave the Greens a failing grade in all three categories of assessment: transparency, “realistic economic and fiscal assumption,” and “responsible fiscal management.” Days later, after receiving more information about their assumptions from the party, Page revised his assessment to give the party a passing grade. However, the institute still found the party failed on fiscal responsibility, because of the uncertainty surrounding the dramatic changes the party is proposing in the short term.

Verdict: Misleading without context.

Yves-François Blanchet, Bloc Québécois leader

The claim: Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet accused the Conservatives of speaking against Quebec’s secularism law, Bill 21, in English Canada but saying they would “protect” the law in Quebec.

The facts: For his part, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has consistently said — in English and French — that a Conservative government would not intervene in court challenges against the law. Scheer’s Quebec lieutenant, Alain Reyes, told reporters Sunday that electing a Conservative government would “impede Justin Trudeau from contesting Bill 21.”

Verdict: Misleading. The Conservatives’ position has been relatively clear on Bill 21 — they would not intervene.

Maxime Bernier, People’s Party of Canada leader

The claim: “Canada receives more immigrants per capita than any other Western country.”

The facts: According to 2015 figures from the World Economic Forum, Canada does have a higher percentage of immigrants compared to other Western countries — but not the most. Australia (28.2 per cent) had a higher percentage than Canada (21 per cent). But in terms of absolute numbers, Canada ranks below a number of countries in the number of immigrants.

Verdict: Misleading.

Alex Boutilier is an Ottawa-based reporter covering national politics. Follow him on Twitter: @alexboutilier

Alex Ballingall is an Ottawa-based reporter covering national politics. Follow him on Twitter: @aballinga


Six-way fight ends with no clear winner in leaders’ debate   


OTTAWA— A two-hour election debate Monday saw federal party leaders clash over ethics, climate change and the economy but saw no one immediately emerge as the clear winner, although they slung one-liners, insults and criticisms across the stage as Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s rivals sought to stake a claim to his job as prime minister.

The English debate got off to a hot and bitter start between front-runners Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer after a question from the audience about how each leader would represent Canada’s values and interests on the international stage.

Scheer immediately attacked Trudeau as a “phoney and a fraud” as he challenged the Liberal leader’s handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair, energy projects, and his economic record. “Justin Trudeau pretends to stand up for Canada,” Scheer said. “He cannot even remember how many times he put blackface on.”

“He’s always wearing a mask,” Scheer continued, pointing to Trudeau’s claims to be an advocate of Indigenous reconciliation, feminism and the middle class.

“You’re a phoney and you’re a fraud and you do not deserve an opportunity to govern this country,” he charged.

The leaders of the progressive parties fought to stake out turf on environmental and everyday concerns of Canadians, while the conservative leaders fought over immigration, pipelines and deficits.

In a second direct challenge between the two main contenders, Scheer turned to attack Trudeau over his failure to present a platform that had been completely costed by the parliamentary budget officer, and over the SNC-Lavalin scandal. Trudeau countered that his platform was costed, and that the Conservatives haven’t presented their entire policy book. On SNC-Lavalin, he said Scheer did not realize the job of a prime minister is to fight for Canadians jobs.

New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh jumped in: “What we have here is Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Scheer arguing for who’s worse for Canada,” he said.

The debate marked the first time all six leaders shared a stage. It devolved into a confusing free-for-all at times, but also had moments of collegiality.

Scheer and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May praised Singh for handling incidents of racism in the campaign with grace and class. Singh was accosted by a man in Montreal last week who told him to cut off his turban so he would “look like a Canadian.”

Trudeau agreed Singh had handled racism with “eloquence ... but I’m the only one on the stage that said yes, the federal government may have to intervene” in a court challenge of a Quebec law that prohibits some public servants from wearing visible symbols of their religious faiths.

“Every single day of my life is challenging people who think that you can’t do things because of the way you look,” Singh shot back. “Every single day of my life I channel people who feel that as well.”

Singh said the fact he’s in the race is a challenge to Quebecers to see past his religious garb. “I am running to be prime minister of this country,” he said. “I am going to Quebec and telling people that I want to be your prime minister.”

But later, Singh told reporters that, as prime minister, he might intervene if the case went to the Supreme Court.

There were moments of levity too. In fending off criticisms on the right and left, Trudeau twice called the NDP leader “Mr. Scheer,” prompting laughter. “I’m very, very different from Mr. Scheer,” Singh replied.

When a moderator later also called him “Mr. Scheer,” Singh cracked that “a lot of people are getting me mixed up,” to laughter from the audience. “I wore a bright orange turban on purpose today.”

Singh was the easily the most personable and relaxed leader onstage, and his supporters claimed he’d “won” the night.

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier was challenged on his social media posts, which described diversity as a cult and called environmental leader Greta Thunberg “mentally unstable.”

“We don’t want our country to be like other countries in Europe where they have a huge difficulty to integrate their immigrants,” Bernier said, prompting Trudeau to claim that Bernier says publicly what Scheer thinks privately.

Singh called Bernier out, saying, “You could have just said, ‘Hey man, I messed up’ because those are pretty horrible tweets.”

Scheer said that Bernier, a former Conservative cabinet minister, was someone who used to believe in an immigration policy that was “fair, orderly and compassionate.

“Now you are making your policy based on trying to get likes and retweets from the darkest parts of Twitter,” Scheer said.

Trudeau was the target in the English debate more than he had been in last week’s French debate. He was taken to task by Bernier, Scheer and Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet for fighting with provinces.

Scheer portrayed Trudeau’s carbon-pricing plan as a tax that would raise the price of cost of living, which Trudeau disputed.

He said he’d reversed the pattern of the previous Conservative government under Stephen Harper, whom he accused of refusing to work with the provinces.

But he acknowledged “fighting the defining issue of our time” with some provinces because Alberta Premier “Jason Kenney and (Ontario Premier) Doug Ford, and other Conservative premiers don’t want to do anything on climate change and we need a government in Ottawa that is going to fight them and fight for Canadians.”

May said the Liberal goal for cutting emissions is a “target for losing the fight against climate change,” and she repeatedly challenged Scheer for having no climate action targets.

Singh got off one of the best lines of the night as Trudeau and Scheer bickered over climate change: “Ladies and gentlemen, you do not have to choose between Mr. Delay and Mr. Deny.”

At times, the format choked discussions among the two leading contenders as a cacophony of voices drowned out the debate.

With polls showing a close race between the Liberals and Conservatives, Scheer and Trudeau took direct aim at each other when they could, with Trudeau grilling Scheer in the last half-hour over his position on abortion. Trudeau had tried to stay above the fray, adopting a measured and at times oddly low-key stance, but late in the evening exhibited more fire.

He took Scheer to task over backing Conservative candidates who have pledged to take away a woman’s right to choose. Scheer said while he was personally against abortion, the “laws of access” to abortion services have not changed in Canada in 30 years under Liberal or Conservative governments, and would not change under a government led by him.

Singh jumped in, saying, “A man has no position in a discussion on a woman’s right to choose, let me clear on that.”

Singh and Blanchet targeted May for failing to rule out working with Scheer’s Conservatives.

On Indigenous issues, Scheer was challenged for resisting the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Rights and its requirement that development projects have the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous people. May told Scheer the Canadian constitution requires it, and it doesn’t mean you say “we’ll consult you until you agree with us.”

The debate, organized by a group of media organizations that included the Toronto Star, CBC and CTV, is the first of two this week. A French debate is scheduled for Thursday night.

Tonda MacCharles is an Ottawa-based reporter covering federal politics. Follow her on Twitter: @tondamacc

Bruce Campion-Smith is an Ottawa-based reporter covering national politics. Follow him on Twitter: @yowflier




The Liberals promise to help people with annual incomes below $120,000 (and up to $150,000 in high-cost areas such as Vancouver) by taking up to 10 per cent off the price of a home with the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, budgeted at $1.25 billion...



The Liberals commit to planting two billion trees in a $3-billion plan to conserve forests, agricultural lands, wetlands and coastal areas. They promise carbon neutrality — balancing emissions against carbon offsets — by 2050 and to halve taxes for...



The Liberals recently named Dominic Barton, a businessman with extensive experience in Asia, as Canada’s ambassador to China. They hope he will reset a relationship that collapsed following Canada’s detaining last December of Huawei executive Meng...



In this year’s budget, the Liberals promised $70 million over five years to create a money-laundering task force and support financial intelligence gathering. Another $68.9 million over the next five years was earmarked to strengthen policing. The...



The Liberals pledge $700 million in additional funding between 2020 and 2014 to expand access to drug treatment and to combat opioid and meth addictions. The party will help provinces expand communitybased services, build more in-patient rehab beds,...

10/7/2019: NEWS: HEALTH CARE   


The Liberals promise to spend $6 billion over four years to ensure every Canadian has access to a family doctor or primary health-care team. They would also set national standards for access to mental health services, expand access to home care and...



The Liberals say they will create an infrastructure fund to support “major nation-building projects.” They would make permanent the federal commitment to fund public transit, and put in an additional $3 billion a year in stable funding on top of gas...



The Liberals would work with the U.S. to “modernize” the Safe Third Country Agreement. They would increase immigration to 350,000 a year by 2021 — up from 310,000 in 2018 — and would create a program to allow communities, chambers of commerce and...

Scheer's Very Bad Week, PPC At It Again and more -- The Left Chapter Canadian Election Round-up Week Four   

This is the fourth of our weekly Friday election round-ups of developments -- as well as the inane, bizarre, humorous and unusually facile -- in the great show that is mainstream bourgeois politics during the election of 2019.

The third was:  PPC Goes Ever Lower, Climate Fails, Brownface Aftermath and more -- The Left Chapter Canadian Election Round-up Week Three

Scheer's very bad week

Andrew Scheer spent the last week doing his best to make sure that any residual fallout from the Trudeau brownface scandal would fade away with one self-inflicted wound after another.

First there is the bizarre and somewhat humorous revelation that he trumped up his credentials as an insurance broker. Of all the many things one could fudge about on a "resume" for public office this has to be one of the most flatline and boring bourgeois options to pick.

Then came the French language TV debate where it was hard to pick a winner amidst the deadening boredom, but very easy to pick a loser that being Scheer. He performed poorly and was unusually wooden even by his standards and seemed terribly evasive on the issue of abortion rights. While during the debate itself he refused to state his personal views on abortion -- even though they are widely known -- he did tell everyone what they already know the next day. Really makes his "personally pro-life but will not reopen the debate if elected PM" line sound even less trustworthy.

This was only compounded by his apparent inability to name for a reporter "a single policy in your platform that you believe shows that you do support women’s rights?”.

Finally comes the revelation that Scheer holds American citizenship. This in-and-of-itself would really be no big deal -- not sure why anyone would have a problem with someone having dual citizenship -- were it not for the fact that he appeared to take issue with the former Governor General  Michaelle Jean holding it in 2005. 

Meanwhile Scheer tried to guard his right flank against the People's Party of Canada (PPC) with an appallingly reactionary pledge to cut foreign aid spending by 25 per cent. 

 For a laugh also see: The Conservatives Say Scheer Won The French Debate & Quebecers Are Ripping Apart The Post.

PPC on an ignorant roll

Last week we saw a number of examples of PPC bigotry and racism at work. Apparently the good folks in the party felt they did not want to let this momentum slip away!

Thus we learned that two PPC candidates tweeted a far right cartoon "of Jagmeet Singh wearing [a] turban with [a] bomb on it". Despite this being clearly racist -- and despite Singh having been the target of racism on a public street related to his turban in Montreal this week -- neither one has been dropped by Bernier.

Just to make sure everyone knows which side he is on, Bernier also retweeted this fake poster approvingly:

 Thanks Max. There might have been a few folks left who were under the illusion you were against fascism.

See also: Violent clashes break out at Maxime Bernier event in Hamilton

Not to be outdone...

Of course, the BQ would not want the PPC to hog the nativist spotlight in Quebec now would they?

Yes, the tweet actually calls for people to choose women and men who "are like them" and then ends by saying "Tomorrow belongs to you"!!!

Now, presumably they were hearkening back to the old PQ slogan of "Demain nous appartient", but given the rest of the statement it reminded a lot of people more of this:

When a party says it is not on the left...I take them at their word:

Not satire...honest.

One headline captures why when it comes to climate change, despite all the progressive rhetoric, the Liberals are a joke. 

Other notable stories:

Green party proposes a 'robot tax' when companies replace workers with machines

LOL!: He thought he was a candidate for the Marijuana Party. He was wrong

Communist candidate on the ballot in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Communist Party leader says Canada is ‘ripe for socialism’

'Willing to be honest': Central Nova Communist candidate Chris Frazer says party will seek to address real needs

We Asked Candidates in Climate-Exposed Ridings for Their Emergency Plans


Manning Centre a main financial backer for network of ‘Proud’ Facebook pages

See also: PPC Goes Ever Lower, Climate Fails, Brownface Aftermath and more -- The Left Chapter Canadian Election Round-up Week Three


10/8/2019: CANADA: More trust Scheer than Trudeau to manage immigration, poll finds   


More Canadians trust Andrew Scheer to manage Canada’s immigration than Justin Trudeau, and more than half say the Liberals have been too soft on border issues, says new polling from the Angus Reid Institute. According to the poll, released hours...

10/8/2019: Zings and arrows   

“Ladies and gentlemen, you do not have to choose between Mr. Delay and Mr. Deny.” — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, attacking the Liberals and Conservatives on climate change “At this point, Mr. Scheer, with all due respect, you’re not going to be prime...

Disconnects and Infection #nlpoli   


The handful of people who pay close attention to politics in Newfoundland and Labrador are probably scratching the barely-healed-over scabs on their head in the latest round of bewilderment.

Tory leader Ches Crosbie announced last week he had named a philosophy professor at Memorial University to head up a task force of people he didn’t name - because he hasn’t figured out who they are - to develop a strategy to combat climate change.  Philosophers are widely known for their skills at developing effective public policy, by the way.

Anyway, Crosbie announced his latest policy brainstorm the week of a global protest for action against climate change so Ches’ finally honed political nerves were probably jangling hard enough to make him spit out a hasty announcement.

If that wasn’t obviously funny enough, the punch line to this own-goal of a joke was delivered, appropriately enough, by Crosbie himself.

You see Ches has spent his time as leader of the local blue team viciously fighting *against*a measure that would help fight climate change. Not only that, but Crosbie started out his tirade against the fight against climate change by encouraging the Premier to join with Doug Ford in the philosophical fight against those people Ches has now decided to cuddle up with.

Not once.  Not twice.  But 13 times. 
  • Ball Government Should Join Challenge of Federal Carbon Tax, Says Crosbie  
  • Ball Liberals Consent to Carbon Tax Will Hurt Consumers Without Helping the Environment: Petten  
  • Time to Halt Secret Carbon-Tax Plans: Petten  
  • Ball Liberals Standing by Job-Killing Carbon Tax 
  • New Carbon Tax Coming – But No Answers 
  • Liberals for Carbon Tax   Majority Oppose Carbon Tax; Where's the Plan?     
  • Premier Fueling Uncertainty in Oil Industry, Providing No Answers on Carbon Tax
  • Did the Liberals Saddle Taxpayers with the Burden of Paying Husky’s Carbon Tax on the West White Rose Extension?
  • Federal and Atlantic Canadian Official Opposition Leaders Oppose Trudeau's Carbon Tax
  • Liberals' Talk of Making Gas Tax Permanent to Meet Carbon Tax Obligations is Concerning
  • Liberals' Carbon Tax a Factor as North Atlantic Cuts Jobs 

Lucky 13.

Doesn’t count all the other times Crosbie slammed the fight against climate change in interviews, speeches, and visits to coffee shops during the recent provincial election campaign.

But you see the disconnect there, right?

Ches wasn’t the only politician who left people scratching heads recently.

The politicians running the Innu Nation made one of the most serious accusations they could against any person.  They said that Perry Trimper - a cabinet minister at the time - was a racist. They released an audio tape of Trimper talking to someone about a request by an official of the Innu Nation organization that the government pay for translation services for Innu people dealing with the government. 

Trimper hasn’t been very popular among the Sheshatshiu Innu but you’d think that something as serious as being a racist might have prompted a bit of publicity before now.  Maybe even a call to the Premier.

But this was a message left for a guy who about driving licences.  The government provides translation for other services, like health care, but driving licences was important enough for the Innu Nation to attack Trimper directly with arguably one of the most if not the most serious charge they could make short of something criminal.

But if they were waiting for something big enough and they thought the tape did it, they still didn’t actually say what they were upset about besides the accusation that Trimper was a racist.  Once Trimper resigned from cabinet, they stopped short of looking for his resignation.  So being a racist was a disqualification from cabinet but not the House of Assembly.

And when the Premier walked out of a meeting last Monday with the Innu Grand Chief, he waved a piece of paper that committed government to set up a committee and to move a little faster on some 
issues related to the Innu land claim.

Problem solved.

Except that aside from the fact it doesn’t appear Innu leaders had a purpose in going after Trimper beyond going after Trimper, they had a chance to get just about anything they wanted.

So they settled for a committee and a promise to do something that wasn’t really defined.

Now a committee is what government does when it wants to make it look like something is going on when it isn’t. Setting up a committee is literally the very least thing government can do short of doing nothing at all.

And a pledge to move a file a little faster on something as complex as land claims is almost laughable.  Innu leaders may be rightly frustrated with the delay in negotiating their claim. The federal government accepted the Innu claim for negotiation in 1978.  The Innu Nation signed a framework agreement for land claims talks in 1996 and by 2011, there was an agreement-in-principle among the federal and provincial governments and the Innu Nation.  

So, that might be frustrating.  Yeah.

But they didn’t get a pledge for an immediate resumption of talks, a target date for the next round of meetings or anything of the sorts.

They didn’t even get a commitment to have the government pay Dominick Riche for translating driving tests for Innu people looking for a driving licence.

The Innu leadership called Perry Trimper a racist,  every reporter in sight and all their editors substituted assumptions and trite comparisons for facts,  Trimper went out the door of cabinet as the new Newfoundland and Labrador synonym for George Wallace,  and all the Innu leadership got in exchange was a committee and a weak-assed promise. 

And if, as SRBP suggested a couple of weeks ago, the whole thing was really about land claims and the NunatuKavut Community Council, Dwight Ball didn’t promise to do anything of any consequence about the Innu land claim in exchange for destroying Perry Trimper.

You see the disconnect there.

If you don’t, just read this post again until you start to see it.

And whatever you do, stop scratching your head and let it heal because, God knows, the disconnects don’t stop in Newfoundland and Labrador politics and the cut on your head is just gonna get infected.



Dippers go home #nlpoli   

The latest quarterly poll from Narrative Research shows that a gaggle of folks who were likely New Democratic Party supporters returned to the fold in the past quarter and are now happy to identify as New Democrats once more.

So while this is good news for Alison Coffin and the NDP,  it really puts everything back in the space the parties occupied before February 2019.  That's when things were decidedly beige.

You can see this in the chart at right by looking at the orange line (NDP party support) and the green line (undecided, no choice, refused to answer, will not vote).  What you also see there is that generally polling from other firms has picked up the same basic pattern.

NDP party support has been trending upward, although not as dramatically as the recent Narrative poll showed.  Still, the Narrative result carries with an upward trend that seems to have started in early 2019.

This explanation is supported by the NDP result in the last election that showed the party picking up an extra seat and hanging on to its bedrock seats in metro St. John's.

Meanwhile, the Liberals and Conservatives have stayed generally between 20% and 30%. The change from poll to poll, up and down, has been typically within the margin of error for these polls.

A rolling average of  four poll results shows both the Liberals and Conservatives on an upward trend but that's likely because the more recent declines just aren't being picked up fully by the averaging approach.  That four poll trending, by the way, is indicated by the faint lines.



If Trudeau or Scheer wins, here is what to expect from your new government   


OTTAWA—After a chaotic six-way election debate, are you left hungry for substantive answers from the parties?

With no knockout blows and a format that left lots to be desired, it was hard going if you were a voter.

But the outcome of the Oct. 21 federal election will lead to a new government one way or another. It will be formed either around a majority cabinet or perhaps by a coalition that would support a minority government, even if on an issue-by-issue basis.

So what might the first six months — the legislative session from January to June 2020 — of a new government look like?

The Star does some crystal-ball-gazing to guide you, assuming — as all public polls suggest is the case — the most likely scenario is a majority Liberal or Conservative government, or a minority government.

Today, climate change and the environment.


Under a Liberal government, the federal carbon price will go up in April 2020, from $20 a tonne to $30 a tonne (or about 7 cents a litre of gasoline).

Starting in January, the fuel levy portion of the price will apply in Alberta, along with the four other provinces — Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Saskatchewan — where the pricing system as a whole is in place.

At tax time, most of the money collected from the levy — 90 per cent — will be rebated to households in those provinces. In Ontario, the projected rebate for a family of four will rise from $307 in 2019 to $451 as the price jumps to $30 per tonne.

Meanwhile, heavy emitters — the oil and gas sector, mining, cement, and more — will start paying by mid-2020 through an “output based pricing system” that sets standards for each major industry. Most sectors have standards set at 80 per cent of average emissions intensity in their industry. Those that emit more than the standard will pay; those that emit less can sell credits to peers.

The Liberals plan to bring in regulations — delayed by three years in 2017 — to restrict methane emissions from oil and gas operations, starting in January.

In the early months, the government would continue public consultations on clean fuel standards for transportation, home heating, and industry. But the full standards won’t be in place until 2023.

The Liberals propose a 10-year tree-planting program and may begin budgeting funds — say about $300 million a year — in the spring. The party says it would cut corporate income taxes in half for clean tech businesses; give Canadians interest-free loans and grants to retrofit homes or build new ones that are carbon neutral; and pass a law to ensure workers transitioning out of the fossil-fuel sector are supported and retrained for new jobs.

The party could set up its promised expert panel to guide Ottawa on five-year plans to reduce emissions so that Canada does even better than its targeted reductions under the international Paris Agreement — 30 per cent below 2005 emission levels by 2030 — and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

There would be no immediate ban on single-use plastics. Trudeau has said the Liberals’ proposed ban won’t kick in until “as early as” 2021.


The first thing a Conservative government led by Andrew Scheer would do is scrap the federal carbon price. He would ditch the Liberal’s incoming fuel standards and replace them with something the party hasn’t yet described.

Together, those two measures were projected by the federal government to reduce emissions by at least 70 or 80 million tonnes per year by 2030 — about a third of what Canada needs to slash from 2005 levels to hit the Paris target. It’s unclear how the Conservatives would achieve those reductions, although Scheer says his plan is at the least Canada’s “best chance” of reaching its Paris goal.

The Conservatives would replace the federal carbon price with a requirement to pay for emissions that only applies to heavy polluters. Facilities that pump out more than 40,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas per year would pay unspecified amounts into clean technology research and development. It is unclear how much large emitters will be required to pay, starting when, or how many megatonnes of GHGs are targeted for reduction. So it’s impossible to say how stringent — or effective — this will be.

The Conservatives promise a tax credit worth up to $2,850 for greener home renovations, a $230-million green technology innovation fund for the private sector, and tax refunds on income generated from green tech patented in Canada. There is no timeline for these policies. But we might expect some answers in a Conservative budget in the spring.

In order to meet Canada’s Paris targets, the Conservatives would try to convince other countries like China to give Canada credit for emissions reductions that result from the replacement of heavy-polluting energy sources like coal with cleaner energy imports from Canada, like liquified natural gas.


On climate change, every party but the far right People’s Party agrees that climate change is a real, and human-caused challenge that needs to be taken seriously.

A Liberal minority could seek support from the New Democrats or Greens or even the Bloc Québécois — but these parties say Justin Trudeau would have to up his environmental game.

That’s because the NDP and the Greens have promised more stringent, legislated, emissions-reductions targets, in line with what scientists say is required to limit warming to 1.5 degrees C.

The NDP and the Greens back a price on carbon emissions. But they’d be tougher on major industrial polluters, however in different ways, and the Greens are the only party that

pledged to keep hiking the carbon price $10 per year beyond 2022, when it hits $50 per tonne.

The NDP and the Greens oppose the Liberals’ approval and expansion of the Trans-Mountain pipeline, but only Green leader Elizabeth May has said it’s a deal-breaker for a minority government.

The Greens want to stop all oil and gas imports to Canada and end all new fossil fuel development, including the $40-billion liquid natural gas megaproject approved last year on B.C.’s coast, as well as a national ban on fracking.

While it’s hard to imagine the Liberals agreeing to these more aggressive measures in the short term, Trudeau’s team agrees with the NDP and Greens on the push for zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs). All three parties are pushing subsidies to encourage the purchase of ZEVs, as well as targets to ensure they make up a larger and larger share of annual vehicles sales in the coming years.

A Conservative minority government would likely struggle to find a party to support its climate plan.

The NDP has already ruled out supporting Scheer based on his failure to support LGBTQ rights, and the Greens say they would only support a party with a real climate action plan.

However, there could be some areas of agreement. The Greens and the Conservatives both propose national energy retrofit programs for residential and commercial buildings, for example. They also have proposed creating an “energy corridor” that would serve as a cross-Canada right-of-way for energy transmission — though Scheer envisions oil and gas pipelines along the route, while May is unequivocal that all energy for Canada’s electricity grid needs to be fully renewable by 2030.

Tonda MacCharles is an Ottawa-based reporter covering federal politics. Follow her on Twitter: @tondamacc

Alex Ballingall is an Ottawa-based reporter covering national politics. Follow him on Twitter: @aballinga

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