29 Apr No mention of climate change in 2015 Canadian Budget
In its 518 page Economic Action Plan, the Canadian Government let by Prime Minister Stephen Harper did not mention climate change once. Canada is the world’s 9th largest emitter of Carbon Dioxide, and Opposition MPs have strongly criticised the omission. The Harper Government removed Canada from the world’s only legally binding treaty in 2011, and only this month, Sweden raised questions regarding how serious Canada is in meeting its commitment of reducing emissions by 17% from 2005 levels by 2020, particularly in light of expected growth in crude oil production from tar sand extraction.
In a Government report in January 2015, emissions were forecast to increase to 815 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2030 from 590 million tons in 1990, and emissions from the tar sands industry were set to increase four fold from 2005 to 2030 and reach 137 million tons per year.
In 2007, the Canadian Government allocated $1.5 billion of funding for clean energy and new technology throughout the country. In the 2012 budget, the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy was abolished as part of cutbacks totalling $19.5 million on the Canadian Ministry of Environment (now Environment Canada).
Despite the stance of the Harper Government, the Premiers of Quebec and Ontario (the two most populous provinces in Canada and source of more than half of Canada’s GDP) will engage in dialogue on the environment and climate change. Quebec and Ontario are part of the Western Climate Initiative carbon trading scheme which includes British Columbia, Manitoba and California.