First published in the Chronicle Journal Wednesday, July 29, 2015
When the NDP rally ended on Sunday I was dismayed. Thomas Mulcair had laid out an array of sound policies but had not once mentioned climate change. Not once. Really? As one NDP supporter said afterwards, even the Pope is talking about climate change.
Can it be that in 2015 there is not one national political party with a coherent policy on climate change?
We know Stephen Harper’s deluded stance as cheerleader for big oil. Justin Trudeau supports tar sands expansion via new pipelines. Elizabeth May would have upgraders built in Alberta — massively expensive new fossil fuel infrastructure that Canadians would pay for.
What about Thomas Mulcair? No luck there either. Mulcair refuses to oppose the proposed Energy East pipeline, a tar sands export pipeline that would bring 1.1 million barrels a day from the tar sands across Northwestern Ontario, increasing carbon emissions equal to putting seven million cars on the road. Mr. Mulcair, when you’re in a hole, stop digging.
We need a rapid transition to a low-carbon economy. This will hurt big oil but will help pretty much everyone else as it puts Canadians back to work. Unfortunately it won’t happen on its own.
Tell Mr. Mulcair that if he wants your vote in October he needs to tell us what the NDP will do about climate change and the shift to green jobs.
Because right now it seems like we’re out of options.