Paris climate talks: Trudeau mum on climate plan timeline

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government and its provincial partners have “a lot of work to do” in the fight against climate change, but has remained mum on when a formal national strategy might be unveiled.

Asked by Global News’ Mike Le Couteur and several other journalists attending the climate change summit in Paris to clarify the timeline for Ottawa’s overall plan, Trudeau did not provide a direct answer. He pointed out that Canadians were given the broad strokes of the Liberal strategy during the election campaign.

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“We came up with a plan … that involves record levels of investment in green infrastructure, including $20 billion over 10 years,” the prime minister noted.

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In addition, he said, Ottawa is now working with the provinces, who “have moved forward so that 86 per cent of the Canadian economy is covered, or will soon be covered, by a price on carbon.”


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Alberta and British Columbia are among the provinces who have implemented — or plan to implement — a tax on carbon-based emissions. Quebec and Ontario, meanwhile, have joined forces in a cap-and-trade system.

“We have a tremendous level of action and commitments made, and we know we have work to do,” Trudeau said Monday. “In the coming 90 days, leading up to our next first ministers’ meeting, we will have a lot more work to do.”

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The federal plan to meet Canada’s current reduction targets, when it is unveiled, is not expected to impose a one-size-fits-all program across the country. Instead, it will likely incorporate the various provincial strategies already in place.

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Saskatchewan’s premier, Brad Wall, has expressed concerns about the potential pitfalls for the oil and gas sector, a principal driver of his province’s economy. Wall has said any national strategy that imposes a tax but doesn’t keep the revenues of that tax in the province where it was collected would be “a non-starter.”

Trudeau sat down with the premiers last week ahead of the Paris climate change conference. The international meetings are expected to last until Dec. 11.

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