On the eve of the new federal carbon tax taking effect in Ontario, Hastings-Lennox and Addington MP Mike Bossio was at the Selby Community Hall to talk climate change.
The town house-style event on Saturday was well attended and featured the MP explaining why he felt taxing pollution would be a key component to his Liberals’ party plan to fight climate change.
“We can no longer sit back and pretend (climate change) doesn’t exist,” said Bossio. “We’ve got to try and do something. Our government is putting together a plan. Our kids and our grandkids are depending on us to get this right.”
Bossio referenced a report published by United Nations scientists who warned the human global population has 12 years to address climate change to limit its catastrophic effects. He also pointed to the last three summers, where his riding saw its worst drought in recorded history (dating back to 1880) in 2016, flooding in 2017 that saw Lake Ontario ride three feet to last year where the season started dry before ending with floods.
“At some point you have to look around yourself and say these are not 100-year events anymore,” said Bossio. “They’re events that are happening every year or two and we need to start paying attention to them.”
Taking care of the environment isn’t just the responsible thing to do says Bossio, but he says the math supports it as well.
“The cost of doing nothing increases on an annual basis,” said Bossio. “From 1990 to 2009 the average cost of disasters in this country was about $400 million a year. Last year it was $1.9 billion. It’s increased every year since 2009. They say if we continue to do nothing about climate change, it’ll reach $45 billion by 2050, a year.”
Bossio says his Liberals have a plan that includes over 50 measures to address the issue.
“Every single province in Canada will have a price on pollution and this is going to help reduce fossil fuel emissions,” said Bossio. “We’ve included also regulations to ensure the reduction in methane emissions by almost half. Electricity, we’re phasing out coal and investing in renewables. Coal will be phased out by 2030, there will be no more coal fire plants in this country… In transportation we’ve made historic investments in public transit. We’re adding a credit for individuals to purchase electric vehicles and hydrogen based vehicles. We’re investing in charging stations across the country to ensure that charging stations are readily available to rid individuals of range anxiety that come with those investments.”
Bossio also spoke of a cap and trade system for heavy industries as well.
“There’s no one silver bullet that solves climate change,” said Bossio. “It takes a broad range of different investments and regulations and a price on pollution all working together in order to address it in a way that has the greatest impact on what we want and that is a reduction in pollution but at the same time has the greatest impact in reducing the costs associated with that.”