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NDP to team up with Liberals, promising to get its net zero climate bill into the Senate

New Democrats have criticized the legislation as lacking short-term accountability from now until 2030.

May 27, 2021  The Canadian Press

Federal New Democrats are ensuring the survival of a key piece of Liberal legislation aimed at keeping Canada accountable to its target of achieving net-zero carbon-related emissions by mid-century.

Parliamentarians are currently discussing Bill C-12 at a committee voting on a series of changes to the proposed climate law tabled late last year.

If passed, it would see Canada set rolling five-year targets to slash emissions of heat-trapping, climate-change-causing greenhouse gases, stopping in 2050.

That’s when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged that any pollution the country does emit can be offset by initiatives like tree-planting or captured before being released into the atmosphere.

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New Democrats have criticized the legislation as lacking short-term accountability from now until 2030.

By working with the opposition party, Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says the government will accept changes to the bill, which the NDP says includes climate progress reports in 2023 and 2025, as well as an “interim emissions objective” for 2026.

“This is too important to let this legislation have no accountability whatsoever, which is what we were faced with,” said NDP environment and climate change critic Laurel Collins.

By accepting its proposals, the NDP has pledged to work with the Liberals to get it through the House of Commons, and into the Senate before the session concludes.

In his own statement, Wilkinson said the government always wanted to work with opposition parties in the minority parliament to improve the bill, and that its passage would be a “win” for Canadians.


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