US ambassador to Canada: Obama's climate challenge will impact Canada
U.S. President Barack Obama's state of the union message to act swiftly on climate change will have an impact on Canada, says the U.S. ambassador to Canada. It was the signal many environmentalists in Canada have been waiting for. "I see opportunity," said Megan Leslie, the NDP's outspoken environment critic.
Indeed, Conservative MPs have made a daily sport out of criticizing carbon taxes and cap-and-trade schemes. But now that Obama has suggested he wants to crack down on emissions, either through a market-based approach or regulations, Canada is going to have to regroup ...
While Conservative Environment Minister Peter Kent has suggested in the past that Canada might consider a cap-and-trade system to control emissions if the United States moves in that direction, Oliver was dismissive of that idea Wednesday. "This is quite speculative. It doesn't look like Congress, particularly the House of Representatives, would be supportive of that. They've rejected it historically, and we're not in that space," Oliver told reporters in Ottawa.
Still, there are signs federal ministers are feeling some pressure to up their game on the emissions front, especially with the controversial Keystone XL pipeline from the Alberta oilsands through the United States hanging in the balance. Obama's new-found determination on greenhouse gases will no doubt prompt him to assess the Keystone pipeline through an environmental lens, Demerse said. If that pipeline is filled with oilsands bitumen, the implications for emissions are major, both in Canada and the U.S.