loader image

Tongue-tied politicians remain status quo on climate

January 25th,2023 | Valley Voices

By Vagner Castilho

On Jan. 3, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announced that “just transition” legislation, a 2019 election campaign promise by the federal Liberals, was set to be introduced in 2023.

Upset about the use of the “polarizing” term “just transition,” Alberta’s environment minister Sonya Savage, without any sense of irony, complained, “It means phasing out fossil fuels immediately, keeping it in the ground,” and “Even more than that, it means restructuring societies and economies and redistributing wealth.” According to our very best science, this is exactly what we should be doing. The redistribution of wealth is a major red flag for powerful interests, who continue to rake in fortunes at astonishing rates while overseeing the unabated destruction of earth’s eco and life support systems.

Devoid of any backbone, Wilkinson quickly assured Savage, and no doubt the industry, that the Liberals had no intentions of shutting down oil and gas production while also affirming his preference for the term “sustainable jobs” over “just transition.” Joining the lexicon of Orwellian language like carbon trading, markets, offsets, sinks, capture and much more, it will, in all likelihood, change little. The unrelenting rise in fossil emissions has continued with every new government scheme, matched only by the soaring profits of the already uber-rich.

Elected officials have shown little appetite to tackle the sector. Last year the parliamentary budget officer found that taxpayers had already paid out more than a billion dollars for the cleanup of abandoned/ orphaned oil and gas wells. Politicians who routinely cry foul about the waste and mismanagement of our tax dollars were apparently tongue-tied on this occasion.

A Just Transition must be the foundation upon which we rebuild our societies. While it is essential to recognize that workers in the industry cannot be left behind, we must also demand redress for the historical injustices of empire-building and its ongoing effects on many of the most vulnerable people on the planet.

The new year has barely started, and the puppets of power, our elected officials, are already pushing hard to maintain the status quo. Despite widespread support from the public, progress on ideas and projects such as a Just Transition and a Green New Deal remains elusive. Coming together in a common cause will be essential to overcoming the vast wealth and power of a small minority and creating a just and equitable world the vast majority long to see.

Vagner Castilho is a member of Transition Écologique La Peche Coalition for a Green New Deal.

Latest Headlines

News

HELLO SUMMER!

THE LOW Down is on holidays!

The office will be closed from July 10 to July 23. There will be NO EDITION published on July 17 or 24. Our next edition will be on July 31.

News

A fiery 40th

Wakefield’s treasured wooden bridge – a village icon that had spanned the Gatineau River for 69 years – was a fiery inferno. Villagers were out on their docks or scattered along the riverbank, watching the structure crack and bust apart span by span – many of them, like Garnett and her partner, Norma Walmsley, aghast as the violent flames tore through the nearly 90 metres of wood in a matter of minutes. It was precisely 40 years ago from this edition’s publication date. 

Letters

Hills peace and justice group giving us hope

The Editor, In response to Stephanie Turple’s “Upholding western values” (July 3 edition) and what the group Hills for Peace and Justice calls (H4P&J) “‘genocide and colonization’” (June 12 edition) As per the March 26, UN Human Rights Council’s reasonable...

Hard-hitting local news delivered right to your mailbox (or in your inbox!)

Support feisty, independent journalism.

 

At the Low Down, we are passionate about delivering quality local news to Gatineau Hills residents. But passion alone cannot pay the bills.

To help meet the demands of inflation and the costs of producing fact-based local news, we have introduced new pricing options. Our goal is to meet readers where they’re at, and keep our newspaper as affordable as possible.

Print + Digital Subscriptions

Digital Subscription

Support feisty, independent journalism.

 

At the Low Down, we are passionate about delivering quality local news to Gatineau Hills residents. But passion alone cannot pay the bills.

To help meet the demands of inflation and the costs of producing fact-based local news, we have introduced new pricing options. Our goal is to meet readers where they’re at, and keep our newspaper as affordable as possible.

Print + Digital Subscriptions

Digital Subscription