The Trudeau Liberals' pledge to ban coal is not worth the paper it’s written on, nearly quadrupling coal exports since they first formed government.
"Ending coal power emissions is one of the single most important steps the world must take in the fight against climate change," Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault wrote in an Inquiry Of Ministry tabled in the Commons. "Canada is driving the international phase-out of emissions from coal power."
Yet figures pegged Canadian exports of coal in 2022 at 8.2 million tonnes — up from 2.4 million tonnes in 2015, reported Blacklock’s Reporter. The Inquiry did not comment on the rise in exports.
New Democrat MP Laurel Collins requested the figures, asking what steps the federal government took to ban coal exports as outlined in a December 16, 2021 Mandate letter.
The Trudeau Liberals' 2021 election platform pledged to "ban thermal coal exports from and through Canada no later than 2030." Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a 2021 speech to a United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow said Canada "will continue to do our part."
"The Government of Canada continues to consider a range of possible options to implement a ban on the export of thermal coal from and through Canada," wrote Guilbeault in the Inquiry. "This includes an assessment of socio-economic and environmental impacts."
Last year, the minister threatened to criminally sanction provinces that run coal-fired power plants past 2035. He made the threat last May 17 after Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe dismissed the target as "unrealistic and unaffordable."
"We want to have net zero, a carbon neutral grid by 2035," said Guilbeault. "I can’t be more specific than that. We will be publishing the draft regulations on that."
A reporter then-asked the environment minister for specifics on the penalties Saskatchewan would face. Guilbeault said the feds have the Canadian Environmental Protection Act at their disposal. The maximum penalties are $1 million fines per day and three years of imprisonment for individuals, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.
This is a developing story.