February 04, 2021

Erin O’Toole must fight Liberal’s Net Zero bill

Erin O’Toole must fight Liberal’s Net Zero bill

As we pointed out in our previous blog post, the Trudeau government has made net zero by 2050 the central policy of their platform.

That is why, when the Keystone XL pipeline expansion was cancelled by U.S. President Biden, Trudeau claimed to be  “disappointed” but of course he “understood” Biden’s decision. Of course he “understood”! Trudeau’s green dream is to have all such natural resource projects cancelled. In his green utopia the sun always shines, the wind always blows, and the abundance of hydrocarbons available to Canada are left underground - untapped and undeveloped by Canadians. 

In this context, it is not surprising that Trudeau would introduce Bill C-12, An Act respecting transparency and accountability in Canada’s efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050, which legislates impossible targets – attempting to make future Canadian governments accountable to his own fantasy targets. 

What is surprising is that Trudeau – thus far – has received zero pushback from the Official Opposition. 

In fact, no pushback is putting it lightly. Conservative party leader Erin O’Toole went so far as to endorse Trudeau’s 2050 goal (just as he continues to support Trudeau’s earlier announced commitment to the Paris Agreement) and readily agreed to support the Liberal’s Bill C-12 that sets it in stone. 

All the while “net zero by 2050” remains an impossibility: only the job losses, higher energy costs and lost competitiveness for our economy are certain.

In the wake of O’Toole’s Bill C-12 surrender, the new Tory leader had little else to say, other than “Hey Justin, count me in!” O’Toole’s twitter account seemed more preoccupied with promotion of his dog’s twitter account. Now there’s conservative vision for you.

What he did tweet was this: “Conservatives know that protecting our environment is critical. We agree with the goal of reaching net zero by 2050. Let’s protect our environment and natural spaces!”  


This whole message is a head-scratcher. The sentences don’t even connect one to the other. But don’t worry, the dog probably liked it!

And speaking of pets, O’Toole's Conservative caucus members fell over themselves to support their leader’s position, just as they did when he earlier endorsed the Paris Agreement. O’Toole’s environment and climate change critic, Dan Albas, made it very clear in several parliamentary debates that he was personally in full support of the Liberal bill. 

It seems that the Liberals do not have very much to worry about in terms of actual critique from Albas, or O’Toole.

The Conservatives’ response is disappointing to say the least. One glaringly obvious problem with O’Toole’s position is that attaining net zero has nothing to do with ‘protecting our natural spaces’. Canada is a beautiful country, and our natural landscapes should be protected. If net zero by 2050 was really about protecting them, the government wouldn’t push wind and solar infrastructure which covers huge amounts of land, destroying the natural landscape, lasting an average of 10 years, and providing little amounts of expensive energy during their life. 

Raise your hand if you think that windmills enhance the beauty of the Canadian landscape.  Right.

What Bill C-12 will do is to ensure many expensive ‘climate’ policies coming down the pike for Canadians. The steadily increasing carbon tax and the Liberals’ forthcoming Clean Fuel Standard are already looming over Canadians paying the cost of the COVID-19 lockdowns. Building codes are quietly being amended in ways that will make housing significantly more expensive. And any day now I suspect we will start to hear about schemes to buy emission credits (known as carbon credits) from other countries. In other words – expect more dumping of taxpayer dollars and more costs for Canadian homes and businesses.

If O’Toole supports net zero by 2050, he also supports these expensive policies. All of them. Does he know it? I suspect he does, but he thinks that a  “Liberal-light” strategy is a winning strategy. Meanwhile his voter base – the base that got him elected leader – is seeing their personal well being undermined, resentment in resource provinces growing, and our country being set back dramatically. I wonder how the O’Toole dog feels about that?

Net zero is only about appearances. Reaching net zero by 2050 is impossible (see our oft-referenced Vaclav Smil comment on it written about here). Erin O’Toole, by supporting that goal, is allying himself with Trudeau, and not standing up for Canadians.

In the process, he is contributing to an agenda that makes energy less affordable for his fellow citizens.