Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party, Liberal Party, and NDP have a chance to improve their environmental policies and likely their election chances.
Prominent economists and policy advisors from across North America and the political spectrum have recommended carbon fee and dividend as a good way to slow the progress of climate change and the best way to price carbon. Even Preston Manning, one of Canada's most respected Conservatives, has called for a price on carbon.
Canadian C02 emissions have been rising for decades under both the Conservatives and the Liberals. Stalling this issue into the future will only worsen our problem. Canada is one of the highest C02 polluters per person in the world. We have an obligation to our children and grandchildren to deal with this problem now.
Environmental issues have often taken a back burner in Liberal and Conservative governments. For example, Bill C-311, my climate change bill, is the only bill in Canadian history to be killed in our unelected Senate, without any debate, after passing in the elected House of Commons.
The current government has made Canada the climate pariah of the world. Conservatives have completely ignored international agreements on climate change. Our Prime Minister even boycotted the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit in New York City.
The Liberals, on the other hand, claim they are ready to put a price on carbon, but do not say what kind, when, or how. Now, the Liberal leader has shown incredible lack of initiative or leadership by announcing that any kind of carbon pricing system should be left up to the provinces. Basically, it is somebody else's problem.
Climate change is happening now and is having a very real consequence on people's lives. Climate change is disrupting national economies and ecologies. It is costing us dearly here in Canada today and even more tomorrow.
Canada must implement a carbon fee and dividend policy. It is a simple, transparent, revenue-neutral carbon pricing system that would be easy and inexpensive to administer.
Here is how it works.
Coal mines and oil and gas wells would pay for their C02 emissions at the source or at the border, and not a penny would go to the government. The dividends generated from those payments would be paid directly back to Canadians on an equal per capita basis, thus reducing poverty and C02 at the same time.
This is not a tax. Carbon fee and dividend would use the marketplace to reduce C02 emissions, guide Canada toward a transition to sustainable energy, and put money into the pockets of Canadian consumers who make sustainable choices.
The Conservatives and Liberals have no plan to reduce C02. The NDP has a bad plan.
The Green Party is committed to a carbon fee and dividend, as proposed by the Citizens Climate Lobby under the dynamic leadership of Sudbury's Cathy Orlando.
If the Conservative government wants to protect our economy and increase its election chances, it should waste no time in implementing carbon fee and dividend.
Will the government seriously consider carbon fee and dividend?