Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Conspicuous By Its Absence
A budget speech is not a throne speech. That said the finance minister's speech usually highlights the government's priorities.
The Trudeau government often proclaims, with a straight face, that climate change is the greatest threat facing the nation. They're very good at it. They don't smirk and they don't giggle at least not out in public.
They say the right things about this direst of threats but they really don't match their words with deeds - policies, spending.
Canada needs spending on mitigation. We need spending on adaptation. Replacing and rehabilitating our core infrastructure to meet what's plainly coming has been estimated to cost upwards of a trillion dollars. The best and the brightest warn that, if we don't make that investment, it will cause far more than a trillion dollars in damage to the economy as we're overtaken by climate change impacts.
Right now we're the little piggy with the straw house. And according to this government's spending priorities, that's where we'll stay.
By 2030 the community of nations must slash greenhouse gas emissions by half. By 2050 we must have fully decarbonized our economies and our societies. That is if we're to have a reasonable chance at averting catastrophic climate change.
We're a rich country. We're far richer than most nations. It will be just as hard for them to meet the '50 by 2030' goal as it will be for us. No country has an excuse, certainly not Canada.
Read between the lines of Morneau's budget speech and you can only conclude this Herculean challenge is not their priority. You must speak gravely about it but just not do anything. Liberal, Tory - same old story.
There are good measures in the Morneau budget but they're eclipsed by what he and his prime minister chose to omit.