At a town hall in Cambridge, Ont., a young woman named Kira asked Trudeau to reconcile the Liberal government’s decision to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline with the government’s climate plan to reduce carbon emissions.
The Liberals’ climate plan aims to lower carbon emissions. A major source of Canada’s emissions is the oil and gas industry, but in 2018, the government announced it would buy the pipeline project from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion.
“We know we need to go beyond fossil fuels as a source of energy in this country,” Trudeau explained.
While he said the country “is moving forward on reducing carbon emissions,” he also said that as a country we are not going to stop using gas anytime soon.
“For the foreseeable future we will continue to require oil and gas,” he said
He also said other methods for transporting oil — like by rail or by sea — have their own pitfalls.
“Modern pipelines are a safer way to transport oil,” he said.
Hecklers interrupted him at least three times as he tried to answer.
“I’m scared for my children,” one heckler could be heard saying. “We are going bankrupt from oil.”
“I thank you ma’am for your concern, for your passion,” Trudeau said. “We’re all worried about our kids; we’re all worried about the increased cost of climate change; we’re all worried about extreme weather events.”
WATCH: Ontario’s federal carbon tax challenge begins in court
Trudeau then talked about other political parties — who he said didn’t have plans to lower carbon emissions.
Trudeau appeared heated and passionate during the exchange.
“What we are doing as a government is managing a path forward that protects the environment at the same time as we grow the economy,” he said.
“Climate change is real and must be fought,” Trudeau continued. “The only way to ensure good jobs in the future is to make sure we are fighting climate change, that we are protecting the environment.”
WATCH: Trudeau defends carbon tax during town hall in Cambridge
That question was only the beginning: multiple people brought up the carbon tax throughout the night.
“Organizations like the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters do more for conservation and environmental concerns than any government agencies,” another person told Trudeau while asking why a carbon tax penalized citizens and Canadian businesses.
Trudeau defended the carbon tax, explaining that families from the four provinces affected by the measure (Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan) will see more money on their tax returns.