Why I Voted in Favour of the Paris Agreement
June 15, 2017
I have received a number of inquiries from constituents across the Yellowhead riding concerned about my vote in favour of the Paris Agreement. As many of you know, I sit as Vice-Chair on the Environment and Sustainable Development Committee.
There are many aspects of the Paris Agreement that I support because we need to protect the environment for our children’s future. Industry cannot survive without the environment. I do not support the current government’s position on carbon pricing (also known by some as a ‘carbon tax’ or ‘cap-and-trade’). I stand with the Conservative Party in the belief that we need to work with industry so that our country can grow and prosper.
On Tuesday, June 6th, the Liberals decided to put forward Motion #15 on the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The Liberals called this vote for 10:00pm that evening. Was it really necessary? In my opinion, it was not. What the Liberals were trying to do was split the Conservative Party vote. The Paris Agreement is NOT a binding agreement and the recommendations being used by the current government are the same as the ones set by former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and supported by our previous Conservative Government in 2015.
The Paris Accord is a commitment for nations to set their own emissions targets. Our only obligation under the agreement is periodic reporting on our emissions, which we do anyways. The “rules” under Paris do not oblige any particular policy actions.
Most Conservative members supported the motion as a unity vote for our new Leader, the Hon. Andrew Scheer, and in no way were we voting on supporting the current governments’ ridiculous carbon pricing policy. This vote was nothing but a partisan, political manoeuver to embarrass our new Leader, the Hon. Andrew Scheer. Their attempt failed.
The agreement can be found at: http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2015/cop21/eng/l09.pdf.