The second topic of the debate was energy and the environment. The first question went to Thomas Mulcair asking “In the last campaign the NDP put a cost of $21-billion on its carbon pricing policy. What is the cost of your planned cap-and-trade system?” In response Mulcair said an energy sector is crucial to Canada as it is involved internationally. He then pointed at Trudeau and referred to the Liberals signing the Kyoto Accord with no plan. He then referred to Stephen Harper’s withdrawal from Kyoto, saying it was the only country to do so. In reference to his cap-and-trade system Mulcair said it would avoid leaving a burden on future generations. Pointing to Harper, Mulcair said that worldwide there has been investment in the environmental energy sector but less in Canada because energy is exported. He finalized by saying that the energy sector employed a large amount of Canadians and especially in Canada; it needed to be developed, but developed efficiently. When asked again about the cost of his plan, whether it was similar to Ontario and Quebec’s cap-and-trade or British Columbia’s Carbon Tax, Mulcair again spoke of the difference between the cap-and-trade system versus carbon taxing. Though he was continuously asked about the cost Mulcair spoke about the system and its implications.
Trudeau was then asked about his plan, to leave environmental plans in reference to Carbon to provinces and how would lead the country, going to the UN climate conference in Paris without a national plan. He said provinces had reduced greenhouse gasses without national leadership referring to the plans brought into Canada’s four largest economies saying a Liberal government was committed to working with the provinces rather than “bringing a nonsensical plan” and would go to the conference in Paris with all the premiers.
Harper was then asked for his statement, saying he would be opening the open floor discussion. In defence Harper said that the present government was the only government that “has seen a reduction in greenhouse gases while seeing the economy grow” in turn defending the present regulatory policy. In reference to Canada’s energy sector, Harper said it is an important part of Canada’s economy but is facing hard times Harper said it needs a government that is “on side”.
Mulcair referred to being Minister of Environment to back up his plan. In rebuttal Trudeau spoke about the speeches of Mulcair including exporting water to the United States saying it would be like forestry. Trudeau also added that Harper believes the economy and environment are separate.
When asked about the cost of his environment plan Mulcair spoke about brining in legislation that would be enforced. He then said that the plan would be different from Harper’s who had not enforced, ending with “We will stop leaving this massive ecological debt on the backs of future Canadian generations.”
When asked about his pricing plan Trudeau said the Liberal Party would work with the provinces in Carbon pricing and would invest “$20 billion over 10 years in greener infrastructure,” to invest more in renewable resources.
In defence Harper said he was not committing to a Carbon Tax plan because of the fragile state of the global economy.