The Canadian federal election: no climate emergency to see here.

The October 21, 2019 Canadian election resulted in a Liberal minority, which could be propped up by the NDP or Bloc. What does that mean for the climate?

For starters, it’s not a Conservative government, so not an absolute nightmare for the climate. Just really bad, since the Liberal climate plan (as reviewed in the last post), is not very good. A – they bought a pipeline and hope to pay for climate adaptation/mitigation with the profits. B – their Plan is vague and lacking detail, relies on Stephen Harper’s “updated” and incorrect (re the Paris Accord) targets, and does not set a meaningful and credible reduction target for 2030.

On the plus side – 2 billion trees! And other programming. So, there are some good points. How good may depend on who will hold the balance of power, and how they leverage it.

Who, and what will that mean? If the NDP get asked, will they make Transmountain conditional? Could we imagine the two teaming up without first resolving that issue? The problem is – if the NDP drives too hard a bargain the Liberals can join up with the Bloc instead. So, it’s going to take some time to see how this plays out.

Overall trend – this election was divisive and not great for Canada or the environment. Two reasons – the central Provinces, Alberta and Saskatchewan, went completely Conservative (except for one seat in Edmonton). The coasts went red, East, and mostly orange-green, west.

Also, as per the climate-plan review in the last post – the Greens and NDP had the best climate plans, and frankly, despite some green growth – neither party did that well, especially compared to how much ground the Conservatives regained.In fact, if you add the NDP and and Greens together, percent-of-vote-wise, and compare that to the last election, they likely dropped. This does not convince parties to move towards building more climate-friendly policies into their platforms, or treating climate change like the emergency it is.

Ultimately, the climate was not a major driving force in this election, and was not a winner. Instead, Mother Nature will vote with her fist for the next four years, trying to convince us to take meaningful action. And the lawyers, campaigners, advocates, and climate strikers – get back to their respective roles.



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