The Liberal Party’s net-zero “accountability” legislation is walking on thin ice
Liberal government’s C-12 bill Net Zero Emissions Accountability Act, May become a landmark law in the history of Canada’s efforts to combat climate change.
But first it must truly become a law-and suddenly, it becomes unclear whether the bill can pass the House of Commons and the Senate before the two houses adjourn.
If the bill fails to pass before then, the long-term hope Climate Accountability Legislation During the fall federal elections, the situation in Canada may be up in the air.
“We are very worried that if the committee fails to complete the review of the article by article this week, the C-12 bill may be stranded again,” a coalition of green groups said in a letter sent to members of the Environment Committee on Monday.
Noting that the number of days remaining before the House of Representatives appreciates is decreasing, the David Suzuki Foundation, Ecological Justice, Équiterre, West Coast Environmental Law, Climate Action Network, and the Central Committee completed their review of the bill this week.
Liberal Party seeks help
On Tuesday, Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson sent a letter to the leader of the New Democratic Party, Jagmeet Singh, and the leader of the Quebec Group, Yves Francois Blanche. -Francois Blanchet), then made this request. In that letter, Wilkinson asked them to “support the use of available parliamentary tools to ensure that the bill is submitted to the Canadian Senate as soon as possible.”
C-12 will incorporate Canada’s greenhouse gas emission targets into the law, require regular reports on the country’s progress in achieving these targets, and set up an advisory group to provide oversight and comments.
The Environment Committee is now considering amendments proposed by all four major political parties as well as green councillor Elizabeth May. So far, the article-by-article review has spent about 12 hours in four meetings, and many amendments have apparently not been reviewed.
The Liberal Party and the New Democracy Party-which have agreed on a series of amendments to the bill-have accused the Conservative Party of delaying. Wilkinson reiterated this allegation in a letter to Singer and Blanchett.
The Conservative Party members of the committee did not explicitly obstruct the bill, but they conducted most of the conversation within the time allowed for debate and asked many questions to the department officials at hand.
“If asking questions now is obstruction, then what is the point of step by step? [review]? “Conservative environmental critic Dan Albas asked in an interview this week.
C-12’s slow march
Albas said that the committee was hurried to study the legislation; the committee studied the bill and heard testimony from witnesses. It held three meetings for a total of about nine hours.
C-12 did not pass through the House of Representatives quickly.It was proposed in November last year, but it was not until May 4 that the Liberal Party, Bloc and New Democrats The bill passed on the second reading -After the Liberal Party, a vote with the support of the New Democratic Party, Vote to close the debate.
Conservatives insisted that the panel should include representatives from the oil and gas industry, and moved “Hoist correction“-For defeat Or at least postpone the bill-the bill complained about the presence of “climate activists” in the team.
Something is better than nothing?
May criticized how the government manages the C-12 legislative process and said she believes the bill needs to be stricter. But at a meeting of the Environmental Committee on Monday, she asked for unanimous agreement to withdraw the seven amendments she proposed-she said, this was to speed up the process. Albas objected and rejected May’s request.
Although the Liberal Party’s bill is based on similar legislation in other countries (especially the United Kingdom), the environmental group said in a letter on Monday that the legislation does not meet the “gold standard.” They also stated that they believe that the revised version of C-12 “provides us with a basis on which we can ensure that Canada develops the strong accountability framework we need.”
With the support of the other party, the Liberal Party can take action to restrict the committee’s consideration of legislation—as the government has done recently Act C-10Otherwise, the passage of the bill will depend on the committee’s review of amendments that are reasonably quickly concluded.
Although the Senate committee has begun a “pre-study” on C-12, the House of Lords will adjourn in the summer on June 25.
If it were not for the two unknowns, passing the bill before the summer might not be so important.
First, it is the time of the next election; the most recent speculation is that Trudeau will seek to convene a member before parliament reconvenes this fall. Second, in fact, if the Conservative Party forms the next government, they have not yet committed to implementing climate accountability legislation.
Therefore, if C-12 is not approved by the Royal Family this month, supporters of the Climate Accountability Act cannot be sure what they will get.
If C-12 dies on the order sheet, it will add another tragic chapter to the unfortunate history of Canadian climate liability legislation.
In 2007, Parliament passed a bill initiated by Liberal MP Pablo Rodriguez (now the leader of the government building), which is related to the Kyoto Protocol.That bill later Repealed by Stephen Harper’s Conservative Government.
In 2010, a bill initiated by former New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton was passed in the House of Representatives, but then Defeated by the Conservative Party in the Senate.
However, the fact that C-12 is now in a race against time is shared. If legislative accountability is left until at least another election, this will be another unnecessary setback for Canada’s climate policy.