Dr. Rose Murphy (left), Mike Healey, vice chair of First Things First Okanagan (centre left), and South Okanagan West Kootenay MP Richard Cannings (right) discuss climate issues after Murphy’s climate change talk on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019 at the Penticton Lakeside Resort. (Karissa Gall - Western News)

NDP, Greens irked after speaker focuses on Liberal, Conservative climate platforms in Penticton

Dr. Rose Murphy says Trudeau Liberals are Canada’s first ‘climate sincere’ federal government

A researcher from Simon Fraser University who presented at the Penticton Lakeside Resort on Thursday said the Trudeau Liberals are the “first climate sincere federal government that Canada has had.”

Dr. Rose Murphy, who specializes in developing models to evaluate government policies for reducing energy consumption and greenhouse emissions, spoke to approximately 125 people at a climate change event hosted by not-for-profit First Things First Okanagan on Oct. 3.

In the upcoming federal election, she said individuals concerned about climate change should vote for “climate sincere” politicians.

She went on to compare the election “frontrunners,” who she said were the Justin Trudeau Liberals and Andrew Scheer Conservatives.

READ MORE: First Things First Okanagan speaker explores climate change and B.C. wildfires

Compared to the Trudeau Liberals’ federal backstop carbon price, which includes levying a tax of $20 on every tonne of greenhouse gas emissions starting this year, rising by $10 each year to $50 a tonne by 2022, she said the Scheer Conservatives promise free carbon pollution everywhere except B.C. and Quebec.

Compared to the Liberals’ clean fuel standard to achieve 30 million tonnes of annual reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, the Conservatives have said they will “work to increase the availability and use of renewable fuels.”

“This is an example of the kind of statement you might see where you’d say, ‘How will we do that exactly?’” Murphy said.

And compared to the Liberals’ output-based pricing system designed to ensure there is a price incentive for companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, she said the Conservatives haven’t yet defined the stringency of emissions standards they would set for large industry.

The Conservatives’ climate plan, she said, includes actions that are assumed to happen without carbon pricing and mostly without regulations, and uses vague language, making policy difficult to forecast.

She criticized the Conservatives calling them “climate insincere” and predicted that if they were to come to power, greenhouse gas emissions would increase between 2020 and 2030.

READ MORE: Scheer and Trudeau accuse each other of distracting from their records

“Based on those criteria, (the Trudeau Liberals) are the first climate sincere federal government that Canada has had,” she said.

She also acknowledged the Trudeau Liberals’ controversial purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline, and a “chipping away” on promising regulations.

“Even in British Columbia, maybe the most environmentally-forward jurisdiction of the country with this NDP-Green coalition, we’re seeing the same thing as well,” she said, adding that the coalition has put some good policies in place, but their vehicle emissions and low carbon fuel standards are weak.

“So some evidence I think of really ‘climate sincere’ governments who get worn down by all of these other pressures,” she said, noting conflicting interests that discourage join action and timelines. “I think this leaves us with a huge role for activism.”

Murphy said she didn’t go into detail about the NDP or Green Party platforms because “it is different writing a climate change plan when you know you’re not going to form government.”

READ MORE: “How dare you?” Greta Thunberg addresses UN climate summit

After the event, South Okanagan West Kootenay NDP MP Richard Cannings told the Western News it’s not surprising that the Liberal policies are better than the Conservative ones.

“She didn’t really talk about the NDP or the Greens’ options, which I think are the real ‘climate sincere’ parties,” Cannings said.

Green Party candidate Tara Howse said she was disappointed Murphy didn’t look at all five platforms.

“It’s a little disappointing because the Green Party is the only platform that actually meets the (International Energy Conservation Code) targets,” she said.

Howse added she was “shocked” Murphy still classified the Trudeau Liberals as “climate sincere” after the purchase of the pipeline.

“In the context of doublespeak, of declaring an emergency and then purchasing a pipeline and then calling that ‘sincere climate,’ that is disappointing to me,” she said, adding that it speaks to the amount of corporate influence driving the fossil fuel industry.

“The Green Party is very explicitly saying we need to end that.”

First Things First Okanagan will be hosting an all-candidates debate on Oct. 15 at the Penticton Lakeside Resort. Residents are invited to participate in a roundtable discussion about environmental issues from 6:15 to 6:45 p.m., with the debate starting at 7 p.m.

READ MORE: Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola candidates discuss climate change



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Okanagan and Shuswap MPs want federal funds to help stop invasive species

Concerns raised that spending favours Eastern Canada.

Homeowners arrive in North Shuswap to find thieves busy breaking in

Chase RCMP request assistance from public in tracking down suspects

Driver in North Shuswap observed vomiting after crashing vehicle, then running

Chase RCMP say woman was impaired, given 90-day driving prohibition

RCMP called in North Shuswap about vehicle with U.S. licence plates

Police summoned on July 4 regarding car parked with California plates

Horgan says B.C. restart making gains as more people come out of their homes

B.C. announced the easing of more restrictions on businesses, recreation and travel last month

Rescued hawk returned to Lumby skies

A rehabilitated Swainson’s hawk was returned to its Rawlings Lake habitat

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

Dog locks out Kelowna couple on 4th floor patio

Kelowna firefighters were called in to rescue the two people

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

Ryga Arts Festival to include virtual and in-person events

Arts festival in Summerland will run from Aug. 15 to 23

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

Most Read