Mr. Speaker, in the decade before I was elected I was negotiating reduced emission standards for Alberta electricity. In Alberta, electricity is essentially code for coal-fired power.
Industry, federal and provincial governments and environmentalists found consensus on cleaner standards, with one critical exception, reduction targets for greenhouse gases. Why? A federal election was looming. Some hoped the next government would delay action. We all know what happened in 2006. The government changed Canada's direction on climate change policy so quickly anyone watching was open to whiplash.
We were not the only ones to notice. By 2007, special envoys were dispatched to find out what had happened. Had Canadian scientists changed their positions or had the new government simply abandoned science? Every minister backpedalled on national and international commitments, mirrored in regressive laws, policies and omnibus budget bills.
Billions were gifted to coal power and oil sands to test CCS. Then coal companies pulled out. Why? With regulations exempting not-yet-built plants for another half century, why invest in reductions?
The Conservatives canned the national science advisor, cut loose the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. It was too much bad news. Their contempt for science is dangerous for our future. We need concrete action. The world's children deserve it.