As a former minister in the Prime Minister's cabinet, he is responsible for the situation that we find ourselves in and for the Liberal government's inaction. There is a continued pattern of saying the right thing but doing the opposite, of talking about climate leadership while handing out billions to big oil and gas, of declaring a climate emergency while buying and building a pipeline, of promising to reduce emissions while approving Bay du Nord, of saying that they believe in climate change while ignoring the science.
What we need is a green new deal, a just transition for workers. What we need are massive investments in green infrastructure, in retrofits, in supports for workers, and we need a real plan with good family-sustaining jobs for the communities that are most impacted. While communities are paying the price for the government's inaction, the biggest polluters, the biggest oil and gas companies, continue to make record profits while collecting billions in fossil fuel subsidies. We need to stop giving our public money to the corporations that are fuelling the climate crisis. We need to redirect those funds into climate solutions now—not sometime down the road, not in a few years, but now. It is not about the environment versus the economy, not a trade-off between jobs and climate solutions. Climate solutions are job creators.
Unfortunately, when the Liberal government talks about balancing the economy and the environment, what it means is increasing oil and gas production while making promises about meeting the targets that it keeps missing. The climate crisis is here now. We are already seeing the impacts. We need to drastically reduce our emissions and we need action that aligns with limiting global warming to 1.5°C if we have any hope of avoiding the most catastrophic outcome.
Instead, the government continues to leave Canadians with an uncertain future and continues to fail workers, particularly those in the oil and gas sector. A green economy should mean good, sustainable jobs, not more boom-and-bust economies. It should be creating employment in the sectors that tackle the climate crisis, in the sectors that tackle the biodiversity crisis. It means cleaning up our environment and reducing our emissions, and doing it in a way that supports workers.
We need a well-managed and inclusive transition to a zero-carbon economy, and that transition must be in line with the needs of the communities most impacted. An inclusive transition means ensuring that first nations, Inuit and Métis people are not only at the table but supported in leading the conversation. We need a transition that addresses the needs of women, of racialized communities, of young people, of newcomers.
To quote Blue-Green Canada, “We must find solutions so our economy is just, green, inclusive and fair.” Denial is no longer possible. Delay is no longer an option. Canadians want ambitious action on the climate emergency. A climate-safe and more just future is possible; we just need a government with the political will to make it happen.