Today's discussion:

A green agenda for true blue conservatives

It would be political malpractice for conservative parties to not prioritize macro-economic growth and micro-economic affordability issues. The question for green conservatives is, how do you fit a green agenda into those macro- and micro-economic realities?

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The Hub Staff

“The economy is simply higher on our national needs hierarchy than climate. A return to strong growth is a prerequisite to strong climate policy.

Second, our current suite of environmental policies should be put through the filter of affordability. That may mean smartly tweaking carbon taxes and/or rebates to ensure our climate policy isn’t adding to the affordability problem.”

What do you think about the arguments on affordability and the stated correlation between making Canadians richer as a means of implementing strong climate policy?

21st December 2023 at 7:35 am

We have to stop this growth at all costs attitude and start concentrating on our standard of living! We are rapidly increasing our population to achieve this growth which they measure by GDP. But this growth does nothing to raise our standard of living or GDP per person in fact it is lowering it. Yes they use immigration to control “wage pressures” which means to keep working wages low and corporate profits high. To achieve this growth we increase our environmental impact including GHG, we stretch all government services including health care to a breaking point, we expand our housing crisis, increase traffic congestion etc. Food bank lines keep growing the homeless population surges, health care wait times get longer but governments do not care their only interest is growing GDP through population growth. Governments talk of a need for immigrants to address a labor shortage yet they hand out tens of billions to create more employment. They talk of needing trade workers to create housing yet fail to mention that the million per year in growth means an additional 300 thousand housing units are needed to accommodate this growth. They try to scare with declining birth rate and aging population fear mongering but fail to mention that our job participation rate is at near record highs and far higher than the baby boom years of the 50’s and 60’s. Yes the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. We have had high immigration levels for decades yet all the problems they tell us high immigration will fix keep getting worse, those that still believe immigration is the answer fit this definition of insanity!

21st December 2023 at 9:44 am

Climate Hysteria and concern for the Environment are not the same thing. In fact preoccupation with anthropogenic global warming has diverted our society from real environmental issues such as clean water and disease control . Carbon Dioxide is not a poison. It is necessary for plant photosynthesis the key to life on earth. Geology and History document climate changes long before the Industrial Revolution. IPCC promoters themselves confess they are really promoting world socialism and massive government control.

21st December 2023 at 10:34 am

A fixation on reducing carbon dioxide emissions is, in my mind, anything but ‘green’. Call it what you want, but it isn’t green. Same as ‘organic’ food. I don’t eat ‘organic’, and neither do I eat granite.

21st December 2023 at 8:33 am
richard webber

The biggest contribution Canada can make on climate is to ween countries off using coal. Building LNG export facilities on the east and west coast to export our natural gas would not only improve the economy of Canada but would help reduce coal consumption as a form of energy. This would have a bigger impact on CO’2 emissions than any national carbon tax. Further, we should re-vitalize our CANDU reactor program and export this vital Canadian-made energy source. We are world leaders in nuclear energy and have the largest uranium deposits in the world. Lastly, we need pipelines to the east and west coasts to export our petroleum thereby decreasing the reliance on corrupt governments exporting dirty oil.

I believe exporting our LNG will do more to lower the earth’s temperature and the release of hydrocarbons than any carbon tax even if increased 10fold would accomplish.

21st December 2023 at 11:04 am
Gord Edwards

It is strange and depressing that environmental activists and governments seem to studiously ignore the ‘global’ in global climate change. Everything is filtered through a domestic filter as politicians attempt to secure votes by demonstrating that they are doing enough ‘here’ — while ignoring ‘over there’.

Nuclear power does seem to be seeing a resurgence in the discussion which is hopeful.

21st December 2023 at 1:22 pm

“First, Conservatives need to prioritize growing the economy and making us all richer…”

With respect to the authors of this piece (and I do respect Lisa Raitt for her thoughtful approach to governance in the past), governments do not grow the economy, nor do they make us richer. That falls to a vibrant private sector, one freed from the regulatory shackles that governments put in place which restrain or drive them away. Governments, however, can shrink the economy and make us all a great deal poorer – as we’ve seen over the last eight years.

The agenda for “true blue” conservatives, should Canadians entrust them to lead us, must be to continue honing their broadswords now and prepare to hack away at all that the Trudeau Government has done to impede our progress in moving this country forward on so many fronts. That includes the Liberals’ stubborn blindness to some of the private sector’s innovative ‘green’ solutions already out there, sitting under their very noses (there really are none so blind as governments that will not see).

Put your plan together now, Mr. Poilievre. That time will soon be upon you.

21st December 2023 at 10:14 am

Poilievre says he would incentivize companies to go green but he has never said what he would do if companies didn’t go green. As usual, the should do s mentioned in the article do not have a high priority with Poilievre. Interesting that the the author prioritized getting richer and then talks about the environment. It seems as if there is little change here.

21st December 2023 at 9:01 am
R Bharati

Can we stop equating climate alarmism with environmentalism? I was excited to read an article about putting conservation back in conservatism but instead I get the kind of climate alarmist claptrap expect from the Liberals or NDP. I’m a committed environmentalist but carbon dioxide is not in my top 10 of environmental concerns.

21st December 2023 at 7:04 pm
Gord Edwards

There is a claim “Starving people don’t become environmentalists”. I believe I heard this from my Grade 11 Environmental Science teacher during a discussion of environmental degradation in Africa. In short, sustainable farming and preserving the forest take a back seat to feeding one’s family and heating one’s home. So why are so many Canadians pro-climate action until it costs money?

Canada is a highly affluent country, so I don’t mean to suggest Canadians en masse as starving or make a comparison to those in true poverty. But I think the wisdom of the statement above applies to Canada today. People are naturally ‘loss averse’ – As people face unaffordable housing (for themselves or their children) and see the buying power of their pay cheque and savings decrease, they adopt the mindset of the starving person.

If we want to see expensive environmental policies accepted, people need to not just be able to pay for them but feel that they can while planning for their future. The Hub has but a lot of focus recently on GDP per capita as a measure of economic health and I agree with the argument. If we want Canadians to be environmentalists, the average citizen can’t feel like he or she is starving or could be in the future. Pro-growth policies that stimulate the economy and raise the standard of living are really the only sustainable path to a climate friendly agenda being accepted.

21st December 2023 at 1:25 pm
Ian Gray

With reference to the Green Agenda.
While I can see support in some of the recommendations, these articles regularly undermine themselves with sweeping, unsupported climate change claims and inaccurate information or claims.
I have seen no data, perhaps I don’t look in the right places, to support claims of increasing floods, wildfires, winds, what have you when viewed over long time recorded trends. We have short term changes in weather based on reasonably well understood and recorded cyclical patterns. The fact they are causing more damage is very largely a function of more infrastructure and people being exposed to them as the population and supporting material activities grow.
In terms of minerals for green ‘stuff’, claims of large supplies of cobalt, manganese and other minerals and some key rare earths are simply not borne out by known, economically accessible reserves.
We will get no where and suffer economic and societal dysfunctions if we do not start dealing with identified challenges from a position of reality and not sweeping generalizations of ideology or unquestioning adherence to the faith/cult of climate change.

21st December 2023 at 3:11 pm
Michael F

Nine comments in and no mention of the WEF, Klaus Schwab or Agenda 2030? We all know the worst on record fires this year were caused by space lasers and climate activists and not human induced climate change.

21st December 2023 at 12:00 pm

The WEF, Klaus Schwab, Agenda 2030, space lasers? I enjoy a healthy debate, Mike, but what you try to offer up isn’t working for you.

If you feel you must continue trolling and insulting others, you’ll only end up in utter disappointment to find that you aren’t being taken seriously. You have to do better, son.

21st December 2023 at 8:29 pm
Michael F

I can’t resist the temptation to call out the low hanging fruit and hypocrisy here.

21st December 2023 at 10:49 pm
Cyril Gibb

Earthquakes? Seriously?
These people wouldn’t have a clue even if someone gave them a clue ticket and dropped them off at a clue store.

21st December 2023 at 8:29 am
Bruce Westmoreland

Yep, now it’s causing earthquakes, volcanos, lions, tigers, and bears! Oh my! Lol!

21st December 2023 at 9:54 am
Ian Gray

Surely you are aware of anthropogenic techtonic movements and the efforts to control them. Walk softly, for there is an earthquake to be triggered here. Signs are up all over Vancouver Island.

21st December 2023 at 3:51 pm

One area conservatives can act is to remove tariffs on (my preference is everything) imported vehicles. For instance, BYD of China produces EVs at reasonable price so those who want to make the switch can afford to do so. Also drop subsidies for buying EVs. Many other opportunities are available through unhindered trade.

Gord Edwards points out that Canadian greenies ignore the word ‘global’ in global warming. Subsidizing battery plants isn’t green investment. The factories would be built anyway. Those are make work projects using the fig leaf of the environment. Get the most bang for the buck. Is spending $X in Canada to reduce emissions more effective than giving $X to India to help build an LNG terminal to convert coal fired plants to Canadian natural gas, for example.

21st December 2023 at 2:00 pm