Congratulations Canada! For Throwing Harper Out

After a landslide that surprised the country, Canada’s Prime Minister is now Justin Trudeau, head of the center-left Liberal Party.

The world now has two fewer extreme conservatives, having kicked out Abbott in Australia and now Harper in Canada – responsible for holding those countries – and the world – back from embracing a low carbon future.

Canada’s Liberal Party won 184 electoral districts, followed by the Conservative Party with 99, leaving the most progressive New Democratic Party with only 44 – less than half the seats it started with.

New Democrats had it particularly hard because progressives vowed not to split the vote, which would have given Harper a fourth term.

Canada Stop Harper

About Justin Trudeau

After being in the minority for 15 years, the Liberal Party gained the majority with 43 year-old Trudeau in the helm. He is the son of Pierre Trudeau, who served as prime minister for almost 16 years before he retired in 1984.

Canada Justin Trudeau Liberal Party

Justin, a teacher and activist, has been in politics only since  2008, when he became a member of Parliament representing  Montreal. The turn-around is stunning given that Liberals only held 36 seats after the 2011 election, and was in last place until recently in the 2015 campaign.

Canada 2015 Election

Trudeau will be sworn in within a few weeks and Harper will,  unfortunately, remain as a member of Parliament.  

"Justin Trudeau’s victory shows that the Canadian people are no longer willing to rely on 19th century energy ideas to fuel their economy. Canada can now move on from short-sighted economic policies, failed commitments on climate change, and a weak climate promise that lags behind the rest of the world and re-engage with the world on building a clean energy future," says Lena Moffit of the Sierra Club.

"The Liberal government has an unprecedented opportunity to reject boom and bust polluting industries by stopping tar sands expansion and making Canada a leader in renewable energies," says Joanna Kerr, executive director of Greenpeace Canada.

Trudeau’s Platform

As in the US, Trudeau’s party will raise taxes on the top 1% and lower them for the middle class, and is pro-choice.

Climate Change

  • Within 90 days, Trudeau promises to convene a meeting with provincial premiers to work out a common climate change framework that includes national emission reduction targets. Provincial governments will have the flexibility to design their own policies to meet the targets, such as British Columbia’s carbon tax, and Ontario and  Quebec‘s preference for cap-and-trade. 
      
  • By February 2016, a climate framework will be established that includes phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, investing in low carbon infrastructure and clean technologies.

"We will provide targeted federal funding to help achieve these goals, in the same way the federal government supports health care in Canada," says the Liberal Party platform, which includes $15.3 billion for projects that cut emissions – such as clean energy – over the next 10 years. 

  • Trudeau will attend December’s UN Climate Summit in Paris and actively participate in the negotiations, unlike his predecessor. The government also promises to work with the US and Mexico to develop shared clean energy plans.

Returning Sanity to Environmental Policies

Trudeau’s party promises to undo the damage Harper inflicted on Canada’s environment – muzzling and firing scientists, and gutting laws and programs that protect air, water and forests. 

The review process for the controversial tar sands pipelines – which Harper tried to force through across the country – will now be science-based and allow far more public participation. That means the environmental consequences will be analyzed – such as impacts on endangered species – rather than simply gutting laws that get in the way.

Unfortunately Trudeau has been in favor of the Keystone and  Kinder Morgan pipelines, but vows not to force them through if communities clearly don’t want them.

One of the most important communities on that front are Canada’s First Nations, which have been fighting and going to court to have a role in the consultation process. Liberals promise to immediately implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

And scientists will once again be able to do their job and speak freely with the public and the press about their findings. Funding will be returned to research programs at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, for example.

One thought on “Congratulations Canada! For Throwing Harper Out

  1. jacqueline Young

    Thank God we have outsted the conservative govt!

    I am one of the many Canadians in campaign against the Peace River Site C Dam project that will cost us C$ 8.8 billion to build, 8 yrs and destroying our natural habit and valley, when technology is available to replace the dam project at C$1.2 billion, 2 yrs to build, and is clean and green. It’s plasma gasification. Our consortium had proposed to the BC Govt but the proposal fell on deaf ears.
    We do not need landfills, incinerators. Technologies are available, renewable enrgy is the alternative solutions to save climate change!

    Congratulations to Liberal Party.

    Congratulations to Justin Trudeau!

    Jacqueline Young
    Supernova Waste to Energy Corp.
    Millennium Financial Exchange Corp.
    Millenniumexchange@gmail.com
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    Canada

    Reply

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