Wednesday, 27 April 2016



"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
Albert Einstein
The text presented here offers an in-depth portrait of the Liberal greenwashing record on addressing climate change, from past Liberal governments, to the 2015 election campaign and to the period up to, and including, the Budget for the fiscal year 2016-17.  The links with past Liberal governments reflect my experiences as a former Government of Canada employee who has worked for several Ministries on sustainable development during previous Liberal reigns. 

Beginning with previous Liberal climate change action plans, emissions rose despite generous clean tech innovation programs, plus ongoing consultations with all stakeholders, because of the following weak links in the Liberal chains, 1) the absence of a backbone to stand firm with the lobbies of power and money, 2) feebleness with regard to taking action via new legislation; and 3) highly selective listening skills with stakeholders. -- Not all that different than Hillary Clinton!

These weak chain links remain very much alive today.
All of these weaknesses are evident with the decision of the Justin Trudeau government to accommodate Air Canada's request to undertake a legislative change - while imposing closure in the form of two days of Parliamentary debate -- for the purposes of removing the Air Canada obligation to provide 2600 middle class aircraft maintenance jobs in Canada.  This is an important signal as it raises questions on how on earth could one expect the Trudeau government to be firm with the Suncor, TransCanada, the Koch brothers and the fossil fuel sector at-large?  How can one expect Trudeau to keep his promise on eliminating fossil fuel subsidies in Canada, estimated by the International Monetary Fund to be $46B USD for the year 2015

Diversification of the Fossil Fuel Sector is Possible
Not only could an incremental shifting of the fossil fuel subsidies be exploited to establish a better economic development paradigm by way of Canada joining the high growth, high job creation global green economy that is advancing rapidly in China Europe and the US, but also some of that $46B/year USD in Canadian fossil fuel subsidies could be used to significantly diversify the petroleum sector.
Such diversification of the sector is possible, as per Norway's Statoil 1) for which the new CEO is formerly from the Statoil renewable energy division  2) which has become a major global investor in clean technologies, including avant garde clean tech innovation;  and 3) has set up a venture capital entity to invest in clean tech start-ups.

In effect such a re-allocation of subsidies was promised by the Liberal 2015 election campaign but has since become a broken promise.  More important fossil fuel subsidy re-allocations are critical to close the green economy gap between Canada's and its competitors regarding the expeditiously emerging new economic paradigm.

Canada Needs to Diversify to the Green Economy Fast to be Competitive: Fossil Era Drawing to a Close
Like a dog hanging on to it's bone, the Liberal's seem to be oblivious to the clear signs of the demise of the fossil fuel era being imminent with 1) 90% of all new electricity generation capacity in 2015 being represented by renwables 2) global emissions production remaining flat since 2013 3) China's coal consumption having declined in both 2014 and 2015 4) US coal producers representing 45% of US coal output having gone into bankruptcy 3) most important in terms of the market for petroleum products, the tipping point favouring electric vehicles projected to occur as early as 2020 and the end of the monopoly of internal combustion engines, potentially happening as soon as 2025. and 4) the Chief Financial Officer of Suncor, Alister Cowan in April 2015 having candidly said that "The years of large, multi-billion projects are probably gone" and 5) The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers indicating negative financial results for 2016 for the Canadian oil and gas industry to the tune of $30B in spending plans couple with $17B in revenues, making it clear that these sectors will be cutting costs and avoiding big projects for several years to come.

Further on item #3 above regarding the the tipping point electric vehicles materializing around 2020, in December 2015, Ford announced it will be investing $4.5B in electric vehicles and that 40% of their nameplates will be electric by the end of the decade.  The Hyundai-Kia group also aims to lead the charge on next generation vehicles, with plans to introduce 26 hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles by 2020.  On a similar theme, Volkwagen's CEO Matthias Müller has stated that the company plans to  "make electric cars one of Volkswagen's new hallmarks" with 20 new models that plug in by 2020.

But the Trudeau government continues to do everything possible to promote Energy East and Kinder Morgan for which the signs suggest that these pipelines may be economically redundant.  Incredibly much new information has been identified since the Pipelines to Nowhere article was first published in The Common Sense Canadian on March 7, 2016 with the result that a new Blog version of Pipelines to Nowhere was required to assure all the additional rapid advancements of the green economy are captured.

More detailed descriptions of the aforementioned phenomenons can be found in the second last section of this document entitled, "LOW CREDIBILITY, THE CONTRADICTIONS AND MANIPULATION."

BUDGET 2016-17

Getting deeper into Budget 2016-17, turning attention to what counts, as per the Einstein quote provided at the beginning of this text, some have suggested that the 2016-17 Budget text reference to a $2B Low Carbon Economy Fund for the fiscal years 2017-18 to 2018-19 is a strong indication of a commitment.  But the other side of the Budget coins tell a very different story. 

Low Carbon Economy Fund: A Spineless, Inept and Costly Formula to Make  Fossil Fuel Companies Look Righteous -There are Better Options for Western and All of Canada 
First, the Budget 2016-17 two-sentence description of the Low Carbon Economy Fund has a resemblance to the $1B Climate Fund, a fund announced by Stéphane Dion just prior to the defeat of the previous Liberal government by the Conservatives.  Under the still-born Climate Fund, the greater an entity's emissions, the more money one could get from the government to reduce one's emissions.  Put another way, that means that the largest emitters, such as the petroleum and other fossil fuel sectors, would be the largest beneficiaries of a "pay the biggest polluters the most dollars fund" -- a sharp and perverse contrast with "the biggest polluters pay more model".  While this may make the fossil fuel companies appear to be righteous, it entails the most spineless, inefficient and costly way to reduce emissions.

Examples of far more effective and less expensive ways to reduce greenhouse gases comprise 1) a legislative agenda with meaningful penalties for non-compliance; 2) expenditure-neutral shifting of some of the $46B/year USD in fossil fuel subsidies to investments in a) the clean tech sectors and b) the diversification of the fossil fuel sectors, including the training of fossil fuel workers for green jobs and the creation of a more diversified and less vulnerable Western Canada economy; 3) engaging the Business Development Bank of Canada and other financing arms of the federal government to establish clean technology portfolios/programs regarding the development of green sectors coupled with a meaningful green bond programs, comparable to European models (as opposed to the paltry/token green bonds fund of Budget 2016-17); 4) revamping government supported clean technology innovation activities to include networks of research centres on clean technologies that cultivate public-private partnerships plus a national clean technology integration centre that links clean energy, low carbon buildings and clean transportation -- the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory is one model among many models on clean tech integration nodes; 5) measures to support for clean technology product development and manufacturing including meaningful support for Quebec's electric vehicle sector to reap the opportunities associated with vehicle manufacturers increasingly turning to outside suppliers for these technologies; 6)  initiatives comparable to that of China and California for encouraging a rapid migration to low and zero emission vehicles including a) vehicle fuel consumption legislation more stringent than that of the US federal government, with examples including California and 7 other US states; and b) policies to influence consumers on their respective choices of vehicles and 7) government procurement policies -- to name just a few!

But this would run contrary to the aforementioned Liberal weaknesses (as per Clinton's Canadian subsidiary) with respect to dealing with powerful lobbies of power and money and a well-entrenched longstanding Liberal hesitation to enact legislation to get the job done.

The main point here is that the current Liberal government has chosen the most costly and least effective option for a significant reduction of emissions by way of its $2B Low Carbon Economy Fund, the option for maintaining corporate rule intact.  It is thus not surprising that Trudeau's co-campaign chair lobbied for Energy East.

Clean Technology Funds
The amounts of funding for clean technologies in 2016-17 are lower when compared with the funding that was available during past Liberal governments -- a period when emissions went up.  

One example is that of Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) which had an average allocation of $40M/year during past Liberal governments while Budget 2016-17 only provides for $50M over 5 years. 

Another former Liberal government sustainable development program was Technology Early Action Measures, a program complementary to that of SDTC, which had an allocation of $56M for the period 1999-2001. 

As well, past Liberal governments offered substantial funding for clean transportation innovation but Budget 2016-17 only calls for $56.9M over two years which is to be divided up to cover the development of regulations and standards, including international emission standards for the air, rail and marine sectors.  Thus this money will only cover a handful of clean transportation projects.

This has all the appearances of a money shell game.

Pipelines and the Broken Promise on Credible Environmental Impact Analyses
Perhaps most disconcerting, is the Liberal broken election promise on the creation of bonafide environment impact analyses for pipelines. 

First, the "interim plan" for National Energy Board (NEB) hearings on Energy East involving a mere 3 month prolongation and an expanded NEB mandate to take into account emissions, constitutes insufficient time to put into place research contracts on scientific studies on GHG impacts.

More disturbing, is that Budget 2016-17 calls for the "too close" to the industry NEB to be the permanent authority for environment impact analyses concerning pipelines. Unfortunately, the much dismantled and formerly internationally respected Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, as per the latest Budget, is relegated to that of an advisory body on environmental impact analyses.

A bonafide review would entail starting the Energy East and Kinder Morgan review processes over, with the right parameters from the outset, and overseen by a competent team. -- at least comparable to that of the former Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

Suffice to say that there are many options for engendering cumulative impacts for transformative change of the order of magnitude of green economy actions planned, and already adopted, by China, the EU and the US. 

Infrastructure Funds
The "all of the above", positives and negatives, cancelling one another out, modus operendi that is the Liberal trademark, is very prominent in the Liberal plan for infrastructure.  While Budget 2016-17 funding to support public transit is a strong positive, Trudeau has let it be known that the provinces and municipalities will define the projects for federal support.  In other words, urban sprawl related road and services infrastructures will also be eligible for this Santa Claus fund, thereby undermining gains made on reducing GHGs attributable to public transit projects.


Further on the recent/current weak links in the Liberal's climate change chains, note that: 
2.     Trudeau had praised Alison Redford for her boasting of Canada's environmental record as a means to warm up the Obama administration on approving Keystone XL;
3.     the Energy East and Kinder Morgan pipelines, should they get approved, could cancel out any advances in the reductions of emissions attributable to the Liberal new funding for clean technologies;
4.     the Budget's heading "Cleaner Transportation" rather than "Clean Transportation" with a mere $56.9M over 2 years is ridiculous when compared to a) China having sold 331,000 electric vehicles in 2015; b) China's BYD projection to triple that company's electric vehicle sales in 2016;  c) the Chinese government vehicle procurement policy of 30% to be electric vehicles as of this year; d) China's target to manufacture 2M eco-vehicles/year by 2020; and e) a projection that a $30000 electric vehicle in the US in 2020 will represent major savings on fuel/energy and maintenance by 2020, the year Tony Seba - a guru on the green economy -- suggests will be the tipping point favouring electric vehicles, with the end of the gasoline car era occurring as early as 2025 -- All this, with some of those Chinese vehicles to be equipped with the Canadian TM4 electric motor wheel technology manufactured under license in China. -- All this with California also having an aggressive agenda to both support zero emission vehicle-related research, manufacturing and consumer choices;
5.     Trudeau's steadfast support for tar sands exports represents being in denial on global supply and demand economics in light of a) the factors highlighted in the section "Canada Needs to Diversify to be Competitive: Fossil Fuel Era Drawing to a Close" plus the recent revelation that  b)  30% of Energy East capacity is slated to transport North Dakota shale oil across Canada for re-exportation to the US East Coast ---  which, if taken together -- may suggest that the Energy East and Kinder Morgan pipelines are not economically viable; (for more on the leveling off of demand for fossil fuels refer to attached accompanying document Section #7 and the article, Pipelines to Nowhere)
6.     despite all of the cumulative factors mentioned in #5 of this list, Trudeau is taking every opportunity for exchanging -- a) federal infrastructure support for municipalities and b) a price on carbon in collaboration with the provinces -- items "a" and "b," in exchange for gaining social acceptability for the Energy East and Kinder Morgan pipelines; 
7.      UBS, the world's largest bank, the BP Chief Economist and the Governor of the Bank of England are on the same page on the demise of the fossil fuel sectors; and
8.     the Investor State Dispute Settlement provision of the Trans Pacific Partnership would allow corporations to sue a national government in the event domestic environmental laws impedes the maximization of profits.  On this latter point,cross country Liberal consultations on the TPP have been primarily with highly restricted audiences, little advance notice and no answering of tough questions.


Thus, Conservative governments aside, the cumulative results of past and current Liberal governments will be such that the green economy gap between 1) Canada on one hand;  and 2) China, the European Union and the US on the other, will continue to grow ... to grow larger than it is now as the pace accelerates for advancements of green economics in these other countries. 

The factors contributing to changing global economic/energy paradigm have been outlined in this text, from the global plateau in emissions production for the last 3 years  to the tipping point coming as soon as 2020 in favour of electric vehicles   and there is no turning back of the clock. Yet the current Liberal government like past Liberal governments have given priority to yesterday's model for corporate rule.  The result it that it remains questionable if Canada can meet the very modest Conservative target should the Energy East and Kinder Morgan pipelines get approved

More detailed analyses on the weak links in the Liberal chains can be found in the accompanying document regarding 1) the 2015-16 actions of Justin Trudeau; 2) the Liberal machine, past and current and 3) Budget 2016-17.  As such the accompanying document underlines the sharp contradictions between 1) Trudeau's charm giving rise to uncritical journalism projecting Trudeau as a Messiah on the environment and 2) the Trudeau and Liberal record including Budget 2016-17.

Finally, those who are interested enough to read through the accompanying document's more detailed review on the Liberal record, past and present, may also be interested in a 55 page Roadmap on options for a Canadian migration to a green economy based on: 
1.       models from around the globe, adapted and improved upon for a Canadian context; and
2.       my own Government of Canada experiences on sustainable development policies, legislation, programs, projects and other related initiatives.

Limited distribution of the Roadmap in a pdf version can be requested via

In closing, it would be nice if some of the future mainstream media articles on the environment would contain more balanced and critical analyses.  

Will Dubitsky: Updated 01/05/16

Wednesday, 6 April 2016


PART I: BUDGET 2016-17                                 
PART II: MORE ON PIPELINES                      
PART III: PRICE ON CARBON                        



1) Liberal Greenwashing and Budget 2016-17: Continuity on the Absence of Credible Plans

In his current capacity as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stéphane Dion's response on Obama's official rejection of KeystoneXL was that the world will need the oil anyway.  

Further on Stéphane Dion, the reasons why emissions went up under his watch during the previous Liberal governments -- despite the government commitment to Kyoto at that time -- are greater than that described in the overview to this document. 

For example, to "meet" the Kyoto target, Dion had proposed to the United Nations (UN), the classification of Canada's forests as "carbon sinks".  By way of explanation, since trees absorb carbon, Dion wanted to get credits for Canada's trees. -- a doing nothing for credits scheme. The UN rejected the Canadian request.

As if the carbon sinks were insufficient on the greenwashing scale, included in one of the final climate change action plans of Stéphane Dion, was a $1B Climate Fund, a concept proposed just prior to the defeat to the first Harper government.  Under that fund, the government would purchase GHG reductions from Canada's largest emitters.  

Accordingly, the program was set up to pay the largest polluters the most money, including the petroleum industry, and the fossil fuel sector at-large. -- Rather than adhere to the principle of polluter pays, Dion and the Liberals chose the model of rewarding the largest polluters with the most money.  This also would have meant little funding for Québec.

Consistent,  the Budget 2016-17 proposed $2B Low Carbon Economy Carbon Fund for 2017-18 and 2018-19 appears similar to the above-mentioned still-born $1B Climate Fund of the previous Liberal government, as per the extremely vague language of the Budget text. This is to say that the exceptionally short description of what this money is to be used for is as follows:  "Resources will be allocated towards those projects that yield the greatest absolute greenhouse gas reductions for the lowest cost per tonne."   

Also worrisome about the current Liberal government, 1) there is considerably less annual funding for clean technologies in 2016-17 than in the annual budgets of previous Liberal governments, the period during which emissions went up -- Refer to Section #3 -- 2) past and current Liberal governments never established credible plans to address climate change, as exemplified by this document's preceding and subsequent content; and 3) since the Low Carbon Economy Fund is supposed to be started in the next fiscal year, immediately after tripling the current year's deficit relative to the figures offered during the election campaign -- it leaves the possibility of changes to the proposal in the next federal budget. 

As a former Government of Canada employee who served on sustainable development initiatives under the various Liberal climate change actions plans of the Chrétien/Dion era,  I can well explain the weak links in the chains of both past and current Liberal governments and why emissions went during the Chrétien government era.  

It was not just that previous Liberal governments showed an unwillingness to take on the powerful lobbies.  It was also that the former Chrétien government reigns never came up with a plan to achieve Kyoto objectives. Eddy Goldenberg, Chrétien's right hand man, admitted as much.  My experience as a Government of Canada employee confirms this-- The article associated with the preceding link covers some of the points raised across this document.  

True, there was funding for, and consultations with, everyone, including funding for contradictory causes and round tables, but the government had selective hearing --those with the most money won. With all sides dependent on the largess of the then Liberal government, criticism, even from environmental groups, was kept to a minimum.


2) Trudeau the Budget: Bonafide Environmental Impact Analyses for Pipelines, A Broken Promise

Trudeau had promised a bonafide environmental impact analyses for the proposed pipelines.  But once elected, he merely prolonged the National Energy Board (NEB) review by 3 months to take into account other issues, like emissions.  But 3 months is not even enough to prepare research contracts and sign off proper scientific studies on tar sands-related GHGs.  As well, the NEB does not have the expertise for reviewing emissions ---- This represents a broken promise.

Equally discouraging, Budget 2016-17 indicates that the "too close" to the oil industry NEB will continue to be the authority for future pipeline assessments.  

To add insult to injury, Budget 2016-17 refers to the future role of the much dismantled Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to become that of an advisory body, rather than an organization that will repatriate it's past authority and rebuild its team to undertake competent environmental impact analyses.

A bonafide review would entail starting the review process over, with the right parameters from the outset, and overseen by a competent team. -- comparable to that of the former Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.


3) Budget 2016-17: Less Support for Clean Technologies than During Previous Liberal Governments

Additional key components of Budget 2016-17 on funding for clean technologies are as follows:

The Budget 2016-17 allotment for Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) is $50M over 4 years starting in 2017-18.  That compares unfavourably to the funding for SDTC under previous Liberal governments, roughly $40M/year.

And there is no new equivalent in Budget 2016-17 to the former Liberal program, Technology Early Action Measures (TEAM), a program that was complementary to SDTC with a budget of $56M over the 3 year period, 1999 to 2001.

Then there is that significant nuance in Budget 2016-17 represented by the title "Cleaner Transportation" rather than clean transportation.  In effect,  the $56.9M over 2 years under this heading is not only less than the amounts allotted to clean transportation by previous Liberal governments, this funding is divided up to entail the development of regulations and standards, including international emission standards for the air, rail and marine sectors.  

Yet Quebec has a significant critical mass in its electric vehicle sector.  What is important in this sector, is that the advent of electric vehicles entails the vehicle manufacturers becoming more dependent on outside suppliers.  Cases in point are that the Chevrolet Volt and the upcoming Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle technologies, are largely those of LG Chem.

Consequently, the $62.5M over two years for clean transportation electric vehicle charging stations and hydrogen fueling centres just won't cut it.  

Moreover, dedicated funds like the former Liberal Canadian Transportation Fuel Cell Alliance program, are things of the past.


4) Trudeau and Ties with Big Oil Lobbies Impedes Diversification of Energy Sector

Trudeau's ties with the oil industry were evident when it was revealed that his co-campaign chair was lobbying for Energy East.

But the Budget's token $50M over 2 years for the oil and gas sectors to reduce their emissions is not only about cynical greenwashing, it is the wrong direction for the industry.  That is, the wrong direction compared to the opportunity to redirect the $46B USD in 2015 for Canadian fossil fuel sector subsidies to diversify this sector.  

If the right fiscal measures were in place for the fossil fuel sector to diversify quickly, that could translate into a new industrialization of Western Canada, and Canada at-large, regarding one of the highest growth and job creation sectors of our times, clean techs.  THIS IS POSSIBLE- Norway's Statoil is doing just that and this includes avant garde investments in clean tech innovation. 

The failure of the Budget to live up to Trudeau's promise to reduce subsidies to the fossil fuel sector in this fiscal year was explained as it not being the right time to do so because the sector is in a slump and many have been laid off as a result.  But this is no excuse for not transferring some of that $46B USD to invest in fossil fuel sector energy diversification pertaining to clean technologies.   There lies a missed opportunity to both provide alternative employment for laid off people from the oil industry and develop a momentum in Canada to catch up with its competitors in the global green economy.

5) Trudeau Tells Leonardo DiCaprio to Tone It Down on Climate Change

In light of the above and below factors, it is not surprising that Trudeau told Leonardo DiCaprio to tone it down on climate change.



6) Trudeau and Opposition to Pipelines is Not Based on Science

Trudeau has repeatedly said that the opposition KeystoneXL and Energy East is not based on science.  In his pre-election comments to this effect on KeystoneXL, Trudeau referred to a study funded by the US State Department and authored by a consulting group close to the petroleum industry. This study erroneously "concluded"  that KeystoneXL would have no impact on emissions.  The rationale offered by the US study stated that if it is not Canadian oil exported, the "void" would be filled by another nation.  

In effect, as indicated in Section #7, demand is flattening for all fossil fuels as result of rapidly advancing progress on the green economy in China, the EU, and the US and this phenomenon is destined to become more pronounced between now and 2020 as the transportation sector migrates to a momentum for low and zero emission vehicles.

On Radio-Canada's "Tout-le-Monde-en-Parle",  during the 2015 election campaign, Trudeau spoke of opposition to Energy East not being based on science.

7) Pipelines and the Flattening of Fossil Fuel Demand: Economic Redundancy

If the aim of the current Liberal government is to increase the oil supply on international markets via Energy East and Kinder Morgan, then the underlying objective is to respond to an increase in demand. But these 2 pipelines may be economically redundant.

Indeed, it is none other than the International Energy Agency, which reported that 90% of all new electrical generation capacity added in 2015 have renewables as their energy sources and emissions have been flat since 2013. 

In effect, since 2013 more than half of new electricity generation installations were represented by renewables and this is a key factor in the flattening of demand for fossil fuels.  Nearly 100% of China's new electricity capacity added in 2015 was associated with renewables, and in the US, renewables accounted for 68% of newly installed capacity in that year.

Now, it is the transportation sector that is poised to be the next fossil fuel market to weaken. Consider that a) 331,000 electric vehicles were sold in China in 2015 and China's BYD expects to triple its electric vehicle sales in 2016 b) 30% of all Government of China vehicle purchases as of this year will be electric and c) China's projection is that it will manufacture 2M eco-vehicles/year by 2020.

California is also moving fast on policies to support a transition to low and zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) with a) an aim to have 1.5M zero emission vehicles on its roads by 2025; b) government support for clean transportation innovation and manufacturing; c) a 10% goal for light duty vehicles purchased by the State government, beginning in 2015,  a goal that is to be incrementally increased to 25% by 2025; d) a 15.4% target for all vehicle manufacturers' sales to be ZEVs by 2015 and e) a building code requirement to the effect that all new buildings and parking lots must have the basic infrastructure in place to accommodate electric vehicles. 

Then there is Norway, where one out of 4 new vehicles sold in 2015 were electric, thanks in part to a large palette of incentives.

Clearly the actions described above will lead to a substantial penetration rates of electric vehicles in the medium term that will be devastating for the demand for oil on global markets.  Such are the conclusions of independent energy advisors Salman Ghouri and Andreas de Vries.  Their research of low, medium and high electric vehicle market penetration scenarios indicated that, even the low penetration scenario, in the medium term, would have a major impact on crude oil demand bringing about an imbalance between supply and demand.

So it is not surprising that the world's biggest bank UBS, is predicting the transition to a green economy will be well-entrenched by 2020.  And the BP Chief Economist, Spencer Dale  and the Governor of the Bank of England are on the same page on this.

Add to the information above, the revelations of Alexandre Shields in the October 15, 2016 edition of Le Devoir to the effect that 30% of the Energy East pipeline capacity will be used to transport North Dakota shale oil via Canada for export to the US East Coast.  This reinforces the premise that Energy East is not economically viable and definitely cannot be viable if it had to rely on tar sands derived oil alone.

For more details on the above, I particularly encourage reading my article for which the link is provided below, "Pipelines to Nowhere."
8) Trudeau on Instrumentalizing a Good Environmental Reputation to Promote Tar Sands Exports

During the Harper reign, Trudeau had  criticized Harper for not boasting of Canada's environmental record in order to make it easier to get Obama on side for KeystoneXL.  In a similar vein, Trudeau praised the former Premier of Alberta, Alison Redford, for promoting Canada's environmental record to sway the US administration in favour of KeystoneXL. This is just one of many examples of Trudeau instrumentalizing the environment to sell oil. 

Peter Kent, the former Conservative Minister of the Environment, spoke of the same philosophy.

More recently, Trudeau attempted to trade off infrastructure support for the Mayors of Canada's largest municipalities in exchange for social acceptability for Energy East.



9) Price on Carbon, Infrastructure and Other Federal-Provincial-Municipal Trade-offs: 
Talks with the Provinces to Acquire Social Acceptability for Energy East

Trudeau entered into the fed-prov talks on climate with a trade-off package pitch, a price on carbon in exchange for social acceptability for Energy East.  This is not all that different than his approach referred to in Section 8 with the Mayors of Canada's biggest cities, an approach consisting of putting infrastructure and Energy East on the same agenda.-- That isn't even subtle bribery.

Regarding a price on carbon, note that the European Union in July 2013 withdrew 900M carbon credits from the world's longest running carbon market (been around for more than a decade) while it's large palettes of "other policies" have proven to work well.  

The EU 15, those with the burden of reaching the 2012 Kyoto target of an 8% GHG reduction, had in fact achieved an 12.2% reduction.  Equally important, the EU-wide 2020 target of a 20% GHG reduction is expected to be surpassed with a 24% reduction. This is relative to 1990 levels and despite the ineffectiveness of the EU price on carbon.

The EU's target for 2030 is a 40% GHG reduction while Germany has a 40% target for 2020, 10 years earlier than the rest of the EU.

By contrast, in the event Energy East and Kinder Morgan go ahead, and combining this with Budget 2016-17 deficiencies, it is highly questionable if Canada can meet the timid Conservative target of a 30% GHG reduction by 2030 based on 2005 emission levels. (Reminder: Above EU targets and achievements are based on 1990 GHG levels)



10) The Trans Pacific Partnership and Canada Europe Trade Agreement:
Liberal Denial on Canadian Environmental Stewardship/Sovereignty

The Trudeau government favours the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Canada Europe Trade Agreement, which among other things, contain the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) systems -- similar to that of the North American Free Trade Agreement.  The ISDS allows any corporation to sue a national government in the event that it's environmental laws impede the maximization of profits.  

It is in this context that TransCanada Pipelines is suing the US, under the NAFTA ISDS, over the rejection of KeystoneXL. Lone Pine Resources is suing the Government of Canada over Quebec's moratorium on shale gas development.  Indeed, Canada is the most sued country under the NAFTA ISDS.

Nevertheless, International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland signed the TPP in February while making purposely creatively ambiguous statements about it being up to Parliament to ratify it.  But in reality, it is Cabinet that will exercise the authority to ratify it.


11) Minister Catherine McKenna Skating on Climate Change

Two interviews with Catherine McKenna demonstrated extraordinary incoherence on pipelines, the environmental impact review process and other large projects that are at odds with environmental considerations.

One of these interviews of Catherine McKenna occurred at the Paris climate conference, a collector's item on political skating, or speaking without saying anything.

Similarly, skating can be found in an interview of Catherine McKenna by Alexandre Shields of Le Devoir in a March 30, 2016 article, an interview during which she cannot make a convincing case as to how Canada will reduce its emissions while the Liberals continue to support the proposed pipelines.

12) Roadmap for a Canadian Transition to a Green Economy:
Palettes of Options for a Better Economic Paradigm

I have prepared a comprehensive Roadmap on a migration to a Canadian green economy based on 1) models from around the globe, adapted and improved upon for a Canadian context and 2) my own Government of Canada experience on sustainable development policies, legislation, programs, projects and other related types of initiatives, with a particular focus on what has been tried, what has worked and not worked etc.  The latest 54 page pdf edition is available for limited distribution and must be requested via 


Will Dubitsky: 03/04/16