Canada: FIRST READING: Canada's awkward plan to cut emissions while bathing in oil money

U.N. report on climate change 'sobering,' says Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault

  U.N. report on climate change 'sobering,' says Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault OTTAWA — Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says a new report from the United Nations' climate agency shows the oil and gas sector "cannot do business as usual" even as the government is still considering approving a massive new offshore oil production project. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change urges more aggressive cuts to greenhouse-gas emissions to limit global warming to the 1.5 C targeted in the 2015 Paris Accord. U.N.The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change urges more aggressive cuts to greenhouse-gas emissions to limit global warming to the 1.5 C targeted in the 2015 Paris Accord.

First Reading is a daily newsletter keeping you posted on the travails of Canadian politicos, all curated by the National Post’s own Tristin Hopper. To get an early version sent direct to your inbox every Monday to Thursday at 6 p.m. ET (and 9 a.m. on Saturdays), sign up here.

A pump jack is seen near Granum, Alberta. Barrels of Western Canadian Select oil are now selling at almost US$80 per barrel, up from a rock-bottom US$3.50 per barrel reached in the first weeks of the pandemic. So it's a good time to be prime minister of a petrostate. © Provided by National Post A pump jack is seen near Granum, Alberta. Barrels of Western Canadian Select oil are now selling at almost US$80 per barrel, up from a rock-bottom US$3.50 per barrel reached in the first weeks of the pandemic. So it's a good time to be prime minister of a petrostate.

TOP STORY

One of the favourite words of Budget 2022 is “climate.” It appears 109 times, against 32 uses of the word “oil” and zero uses of the word “gasoline.” The entire third chapter – ahead of defence, public safety and even health care – was taken up with billions in green promises, including electric car rebates and carbon capture credits. When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau set out on a nationwide tour to promote his new budget, his first stop was in Victoria – the Canadian epicentre of electric cars – where he talked up the budget’s $900 million pledge for more charging stations.

Federal government to approve controversial Bay du Nord oil project

  Federal government to approve controversial Bay du Nord oil project The federal government will formally approve the Bay du Nord offshore oil project after markets close at 4 p.m. ET, CBC News has learned from multiple sources who are not authorized to speak publicly. CTV was first to report the news. Bay du Nord has been panned by environmental activists and climate scientists, who say it flies in the face of the federal government's climate goals. The project has also caused disagreement within Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal cabinet. In February, Radio-Canada reported that cabinet members from Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia were opposed to its approval.

 They rigged up a Nissan Leaf with a fake license plate and everything. © REUTERS/Philip McLachlan They rigged up a Nissan Leaf with a fake license plate and everything.

Which is all pretty on brand for the Trudeau government. The current Environment Minister is Steven Guilbeault, a former Greenpeace activist decried as an “extremist” upon his appointment last October. When the COP UN climate summit was held last year in Scotland, Canada sent the largest delegation of any other participant – including the host country. “Canada is leading the way toward a clean energy future,” read the prime minister’s official statement from Glasgow.

So it’s a little awkward that said budget’s largesse is due in no small part to the oceans of oil that Canada pumps out of the ground each year. Canada remains the world’s fourth largest oil producer and high global oil prices delivered an 11th hour spike to federal revenues.

FIRST READING: Canada left out of an Anglosphere defence pact (uh, again)

  FIRST READING: Canada left out of an Anglosphere defence pact (uh, again) First Reading is a daily newsletter keeping you posted on the travails of Canadian politicos, all curated by the National Post’s own Tristin Hopper. To get an early version sent direct to your inbox every Monday to Thursday at 6 p.m. ET (and 9 a.m. on Saturdays), sign up here. TOP STORY Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom all agreed this week to work together on developing hypersonic weapons (which are kind of like ballistic missiles, except they can zig-zag to their target to avoid radar defences). Conspicuously left out of the agreement is Canada , which  happens to share either a border or a head of state with the three participants.

The launch of the budget also coincided with federal approval for Bay du Nord, a $12 billion offshore oil platform on the Atlantic Coast. It’s effectively the largest single energy project to be approved in Canada since the feds gave the green light to the $6.6 billion Coastal GasLink pipeline in B.C.

 This handout illustration provided by Equinor shows an illustration of the planned Bay du Nord Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel. © Photo by HANDOUT/Equinor/AFP via Getty Images This handout illustration provided by Equinor shows an illustration of the planned Bay du Nord Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel.

Video: Trudeau outlines new climate plan, including cuts to oil and gas emissions (Global News)

If you’re a Western Canadian inclined to cynicism on these things, you might point out that Ottawa is fine with Atlantic oil projects that are literally in the middle of the ocean, while just three years ago a Liberal bill closed the entire North Coast of B.C. to oil tankers.

Hillary Clinton Says Grandkids, 'Forest Bathing' and Historical Fiction Keep Her Spirits Up

  Hillary Clinton Says Grandkids, 'Forest Bathing' and Historical Fiction Keep Her Spirits Up The former presidential candidate and secretary of state chatted with Kate McKinnon about recovering from COVID-19 and how she holds on to hope despite disappointmentHillary Clinton has bounced right back after coming down with a "really mild case" of COVID-19, she said in an episode of her podcast this week.

And the project has been particularly ill-received by environmentalists who are usually champions of Trudeau’s position on carbon taxes and other emissions-reduction initiatives. “For the first time in my life I had to choke down tears talking to a journalist about the Canadian government approving the Bay du Nord project,” read a tweet by Caroline Brouillette with Climate Action Network Canada. Others called it “galling” that only hours after Bay du Nord’s approval, Trudeau was issuing a statement for World Health Day outlining his commitment “to taking real action on climate change.”

In a column for the National Post, Kelly McParland noted the awkwardness of being Steven Guilbealt these days . Not only is he helping to a run a petrostate that is actively promising to boost production to supplant Russian stocks, but a big chunk of the climate pledges in Budget 2022 are carbon capture tax credits for the oil sector – measures that environmentalists typically refer to as “oil and gas subsidies.” “Should the Liberal plan prove effective, the prime minister can still fly off to summits and pronounce Canada’s unwavering commitment to emission reductions, then bundle his retinue into a squadron of limos with the assurance fossil fuels will continue pumping money into Canada’s treasury,” wrote McParland.

Varcoe: Federal incentive for carbon capture puts ball back in Alberta's court

  Varcoe: Federal incentive for carbon capture puts ball back in Alberta's court Ottawa has put its marker on the table by providing a multibillion-dollar tax credit to companies willing to make big investments in carbon capture and storage projects in the country. Will Premier Jason Kenney’s government do the same in Alberta? The Liberal government extended an olive branch to the oilpatch in its budget on Thursday, providing details on a federal investment tax credit for carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) developments . It arrives as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is moving ahead on aggressive climate plans, which include a cap on emissions from the oil and gas sector , beginning in 2025.

 A Coyote armoured vehicle pictured during a 2012 exercise in the Northwest Territories.  As reported by the National Post’s John Ivison, armoured vehicles are one of the few pieces of military equipment that Canada has in abundance (we just decommissioned a bunch of Coyotes, in fact). It’s also something that Ukraine is specifically requesting in order to support their offensive against Russian units dug in along their country’s east. Nevertheless, as Ivison reveals, efforts to get Canadian armoured vehicles into Ukrainian hands are smashing into a thicket of red tape and bureaucratic shrugs. © Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal A Coyote armoured vehicle pictured during a 2012 exercise in the Northwest Territories.  As reported by the National Post’s John Ivison, armoured vehicles are one of the few pieces of military equipment that Canada has in abundance (we just decommissioned a bunch of Coyotes, in fact). It’s also something that Ukraine is specifically requesting in order to support their offensive against Russian units dug in along their country’s east. Nevertheless, as Ivison reveals, efforts to get Canadian armoured vehicles into Ukrainian hands are smashing into a thicket of red tape and bureaucratic shrugs.

IN OTHER NEWS

The Conservative leadership race now has three verified candidates (which is to say, candidates who have paid $300,000 and obtained 500 signatures from members to be allowed on the final ballot). Leslyn Lewis, Jean Charest and Pierre Poilievre are now officially, for-seriousies in the running to head the Tories. There’s at least nine more trying to run, but we’ll see how far they get on the $300K.

The Liberals’ centrist caucus (which does exist) are apparently not all that comfortable with their parties’ plan to continue churning out substantial deficits for the foreseeable future. Speaking to The Hill Times, Liberal MP Judy Sgro said she had expected a budget that was far more restrained in its spending, given that so much debt was accumulated during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’m always very concerned with the financial aspect of everything we do, we have to continue to show some fiscal restraint in many areas,” she said, adding that “a fair number” of other Liberals are in the same boat. Nevertheless, Sgro said she ultimately supported the budget, if only because it ensured the success of the NDP/Liberal deal holding together the Trudeau government until at least 2025.

Guilbeault asks Alberta minister Nixon to 'correct' column on emissions reduction

  Guilbeault asks Alberta minister Nixon to 'correct' column on emissions reduction EDMONTON — Federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault has written a letter to his Alberta counterpart to correct what he calls errors in Jason Nixon's recent newspaper column. Earlier this week, an Alberta newspaper published an op-ed by Nixon in which he called the new federal plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions "insane." In his letter, sent Friday, Guilbeault says Nixon misread a graph and got his facts wrong. "I want to correct theEarlier this week, an Alberta newspaper published an op-ed by Nixon in which he called the new federal plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions "insane.

 As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau conducts a nationwide tour to promote Budget 2022, these guys are mounting a much cheaper companion tour. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has once again taken their debt clock on the road to spread the gospel of Canadian federal liabilities going up roughly $391.5 million every day. This is one of the first times they’re wheeling out the clock after the debt topped $1 trillion during the pandemic. © Ryan Stelter/Winnipeg Sun/Postmedia Network As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau conducts a nationwide tour to promote Budget 2022, these guys are mounting a much cheaper companion tour. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has once again taken their debt clock on the road to spread the gospel of Canadian federal liabilities going up roughly $391.5 million every day. This is one of the first times they’re wheeling out the clock after the debt topped $1 trillion during the pandemic.

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Canada's emissions plummet during first year of COVID-19 pandemic .
OTTAWA — Canada's greenhouse gas emissions plummeted to their lowest level in almost three decades in 2020 as pandemic restrictions kept cars off the road and grounded airplanes for months on end. But a new and more accurate way to count methane emissions from the oil and gas industry means Canada emitted many more tonnes than previously thought over the last 25 years, dampening some of the better news in the emissions report published Thursday. Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault said in a written statement that overall the 2020 report is a good news day for the planet.

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