|Government Business No. 29 motion made by Catherine McKenna, minister of environment. (House of Commons)|
MP Wayne Stetski called on the federal government to fight the “climate change war”, in the House of Commons on June 17.
He had the chance to speak on the May 27 amended motion that the government recognize climate change as an urgent crisis driven by human activity, that Canadian citizens are feeling the impacts of climate change including flooding and wildfires and that clean growth and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in all parts of the economy is necessary.
He quoted Gret Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who said:
“I often hear adults say, ‘We need to give the next generation hope’. But I don’t want your hope. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I do. Every day. And want you to act. I want you to behave like our house is on fire. Because it is.”
Stetski spoke of the most recent report by the international Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which says that we have about 11 years to dramatically reduce fossil fuel consumption or face catastrophic climate change.
“It is clear that we are facing an urgent ecological crisis,” he said. “For too long, governments and corporations have delayed taking meaningful action on climate change, and now we find ourselves with the floods and fires at our door. We have a moral responsibility to take rapid, ambitious action that will set us down the path to a more sustainable and equitable future.”
He described the rallies that have occurred in his riding and said that many of the young people share Thunberg’s fear for the future.
“My granddaughter, Lalita, who is graduating from high school this month, at times worries about whether her generation will have a future at all,” Stetski said.
He went on to acknowledge the work that local governments are doing to address the crisis, however, he called on the federal government to partner with municipal governments who have solutions but no funds to implement those solutions.
Stetski went on to criticize the Liberals, saying though they brought forward the motion they have failed to recognize climate change as an emergency.
“The Liberal climate change plan shelters the biggest polluters and fails to meet even Stephen Harper’s weak targets,” he said.
He also expressed outrage that, while yesterday the government was discussing declaring a climate emergency, on the agenda to discuss today is the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.
“Quite frankly, it is climate hypocrisy,” he said.
Stetski called for a bold plan that reduces emissions while creating sustainable jobs for workers.
“Instead of partisan bickering over carbon pricing, we need all parties to agree to work together on implementing comprehensive solutions,” Stetski said.
The amendment was defeated, however, the original motion passed.