Saturday , October 23 2021

Conservatives focus on Paris targets as "test point" to discredit liberal carbon tax: internal memo


OTTAWA – Before a climate policy announcement by conservative leader Andrew Scheer, conservatives are going all-in to attack the Liberal government for its failure designed to meet emission reduction targets, according to an internal memo obtained by the National Post .

The memorandum to Cabinet chief Marc-André Leclerc, dated June 5, describes the party's communication strategy that preceded Scheer's environmental policy speech, which he must deliver before the House of Commons increases for next summer. It is the latest in a series of political speeches aimed at unraveling Scheer's "vision for Canada" ahead of a federal election campaign this fall.

The main goal among the objectives listed in the 12-page memorandum is "to increase media and public awareness that Justin Trudeau will not meet the goals of the Paris Accord" as a way to "discredit the carbon tax as a reduction of emissions ".

Canada's environment commissioner, citing government data, said Canada was not prepared to meet its commitment to reduce emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels to 2030. Liberals argue that taxing issuers will give incentive to the private sector. become more environmentally friendly in the long run, and that any effects on the average family will be mitigated by discounts on tax returns.

But conservatives are betting that if more people are aware, Canada will lose its emissions targets, no matter what, it will be easier to argue that a federal carbon tax is an unnecessary burden. "We must continue to convey the message that the Trudeau carbon tax is not an environmental or emission reduction plan. It's just a tax plan. Highlighting how Trudeau will miss Paris is a key point of proof, "a point in the heading" strategic considerations. "

A digital campaign launched on Saturday with the theme "Trudeau's Environmental Failure." Every day, according to the memo, the party will launch criticisms focused on Paris targets that cite news agencies and organizations such as the Chartered Professional Accountants. The eighth in a list of planned daily social media posts says, "If Justin Trudeau wants to meet Canada's Paris goals, his carbon tax will have to be * much * higher. He knows it, but he is not telling you. Remember that in October. #NotAsAdvertised ".

The heavy focus on the Paris Accord arises when conservative provincial governments, including Ontario and Alberta, reject the carbon tax, and as the Parliamentary Budget prepares to release a report on Thursday that will offer an independent estimate of the additional carbon price . will be required to achieve Canada's greenhouse gas emissions target in 2030 under the Paris Agreement as well as an estimate of the corresponding impact on the Canadian economy. "

We were anxious to hold the liberals to account for this

Criticizing Trudeau for not being able to reduce emissions quickly enough implies that the Tories consider the Paris targets unattainable, or that they are ready to propose alternative policies that could outweigh what the liberal government did.

Officials at Scheer's cabinet are mouthing about the plan, but all signs point to a policy that will focus on regulations, recycling, conservation and an international component – he alluded in a previous political speech to "being part of Canada in the fight". against climate change, reducing global emissions. "

The policy will also address the question of whether Scheer still supports the Paris agreement. Two years ago, during the early days of his leadership and shortly after the decision by United States President Donald Trump to withdraw from the UN pact, he voted in favor of a liberal motion reaffirming Canada's commitment to she.

Liberals have tried to minimize the Conservative Party's silence on climate policy, for example by holding a media event this spring on the basis of Scheer's "lack of plan." However, recent research suggests that Canadians are not convinced. A survey by the Angus Reid Institute revealed that respondents are more willing to trust Scheer at 22 percent than Trudeau at 15 percent in dealing with climate change – although Green Party leader Elizabeth May was winner of the category. with 35 percent support.

In mid-May, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna filed a motion in the House of Commons calling for a "national climate emergency" statement, appearing to target the Conservatives. But the motion has not come to the debate since the end of May, and there has not yet been a vote.

"It's not at all surprising that liberals suddenly do not want to talk about climate change and the environment," Conservative spokesman Brock Harrison said in a statement. "We were eager to keep the Liberals responsible for this. It's a pity that they no longer feel they can defend their record. "

The Liberals did not respond to a Post question about whether the motion would return to the debate before the summer. "We believe it's important to have this debate," said Daniel Arsenault, spokesman for Liberal House leader Bardish Chagger. "We look forward to continuing to talk about this important issue."

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