Discussion Topic: Will A New Oil Pipeline Help Mitigate Climate Change?  Can Canada Have It Both Ways?
Moderator: John Pope

What is the relationship between the national economy, and environmental protection?  Some believe we need a strong economy to fight climate change, and therefore we need to grow our economy by building a pipeline to increase oil production boosting revenues and royalties.

Others argue that investments in renewable energy projects will create more jobs and sustainable economic growth than the fossil fuel industry can now provide.

With a Federal election on the horizon, the Trudeau Government is trying to have it both ways: cleaning up the environment in a fossil fuel driven economy.  The government did announce a “Climate Emergency” and, on the same day, announced the go-ahead to build the Trans Mountain Pipeline extension. 

It doesn’t seem to matter that by building the pipeline, Canada surely gives up on meeting its commitments under the Paris Climate Accord.

Trudeau is right in that we do need big investments in green technology which will cost billions, but is building a pipeline the best way to raise the money for it?  In fact, renewable energy projects would boost the economy more because require new infrastructure, and far more workers than the fossil fuel industry currently provides: https://www.theguardian.com/public-leaders-network/2015/aug/27/fossil-fuels-workers-retraining-carbon-neutral-solar-wind-energy-oil-gas

Here is the Liberal Government’s Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/environment/weather/climatechange/pan-canadian-framework.html  (Notice that natural gas is seen here as ‘clean’, and listed along side solar and wind power).


Trudeau pushes green economic plan”: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/morneau-environment-economy-1.4983222

But despite high demand for such expertise in the renewables sector, the transfer of skilled labour from fossil fuel sectors remains a trickle”: https://www.theguardian.com/public-leaders-network/2015/aug/27/fossil-fuels-workers-retraining-carbon-neutral-solar-wind-energy-oil-gas

Team Trudeau is finding the balance: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/on-economy-vs-environment-team-trudeau-is-finding-the-balance/article32166280/

The environment is Canada’s biggest wedge issue: https://www.economist.com/special-report/2019/07/25/the-environment-is-canadas-biggest-wedge-issue (you have to ‘register’ to read the entire article).


If we are in a climate emergency, why is the government subsidizing the fossil fuel industry with $3.3 billion every year?

Why is Canada so far behind other developed nations in renewable infrastructure and renewable energy production?

[Your question here]

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