In Committee: McKenna Defends Carbon Pricing Plan

budget 2017

In Committee: McKenna Defends Carbon Pricing Plan


May 22, 2018 9:50am ET

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna appears at the Senate energy, environment and natural resources committee to field questions on the federal plan for carbon pricing. The Senate agriculture committee also looks at the 217-page Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act that was included in this spring’s budget implementation bill. Both committees are  LIVE ONLINE at 5pm ET / 2pm PT

Ottawa calls the plan a “backstop” to implement in provinces and territories that fails to meet certain benchmarks in the 2016 Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

The requirements include:

  • carbon pricing in place by 2018 that addresses greenhouse gas emissions across a common set of sectors and sources (i.e. energy, transportation);
  • a system that uses either a carbon tax (as in British Columbia) starting at $10 per tonne and rising to $50 per tonne by 2022, or;
  • a cap-and-trade system (as in Ontario and Quebec) that matches or exceeds the federal government’s 2030 target for reduced emissions;
  • a five-year review and regular reporting requirements.

Included is this language to justify the pricing plan:

The absence of greenhouse gas emissions pricing in some provinces and a lack of stringency in some provincial greenhouse gas emissions pricing systems could contribute to significant deleterious effects on the environment, including its biological diversity, on human health and safety and on economic prosperity … it is necessary to create a federal greenhouse gas emissions pricing scheme to ensure that, taking provincial greenhouse gas emissions pricing systems into account, greenhouse gas emissions pricing applies broadly in Canada.

The Saskatchewan government has asked a provincial court for a constitutional reference on Ottawa’s plan, arguing it doesn’t respect the principles of federalism.



The Senate social affairs committee continues to hear testimony this week on the legalization of cannabis. LIVE ONLINE at 7pm ET / 4pm PT


Elections Canada

Stéphane Perrault, the interim chief electoral officer, discussed his nomination for the permanent job at the the procedure committee. LIVE ONLINE at 11am ET / 8am PT