Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a surprise visit to the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada conference in Toronto on Monday and managed to get a standing ovation.
I kid you not.
Of course, it was for his promise to continue write-offs for electric vehicles in the mining sector, but applause is always welcome.
It’s hoped no one was really taken in by the prime minister’s glib observation that the resources sector was up to the challenge of fighting climate change.
“For a country like Canada, where the national economy was built on the natural resources sector, there’s a big transformation ahead, to be sure,” he said, adding, “We just need to transform our approach to meet the challenging future.”
“Of course we can only create a better stronger economy for everyone if we are fighting climate change at the same time,” he said. “We know that, Canadians know that — we just haven’t reached that point of consensus … about the best way to do it.”
Yeah, right. There’s a good reason we haven’t reached a consensus about the best way forward. There is no way forward that does not involve gutting the economy.
The Liberal government has committed the country to cutting CO2 emissions by 30 per cent from 2005 levels under the Paris Accord to net zero emissions by 2050.
Trudeau talks about it as if it just a matter of everyone pulling together.
Trouble is that some of us are going under as we pull.
Take the oil and gas sector, for example, it produces close to 60 per cent of all our industrial emissions which themselves are 42 per cent of total emissions. Electricity productions accounts for another 11 per cent. Transportation accounts for 24 per cent.
Now, we’re not going to meet our goals by reducing CO2 emissions in electrical production. The country is pretty much green in that department as it is with 80 per cent of electricity coming from hydro.
Transportation? Well, folks still love their internal combustion engine. Electric vehicle sales can barely crack one per cent. The government could jack up the carbon tax to say $250 per tonne and force ICE vehicles off the road and end natural gas use in households. But there would be a political price to be paid for that and the Liberals are not about to alienate voters in Quebec and Ontario.
So where does that leave the Liberals?
You guessed it. Ax the resource sector. Take her down well by well, mine by mine. Make it impossible for any new project to get off the ground, scare away investors. Problem solved.
Of course, there will be much suffering, a lot of wailing, but it’s only coming from Alberta and Saskatchewan, so Liberals don’t care.
If the choice is between Paris and Calgary, it’s always gonna be Paris for Trudeau.
It’s time to leave this dysfunctional country.