Instead, he pointed towards other government commitments to clean tech solutions that he said will decrease Canada’s reliance on oil and gas.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during the launch of the green economy initiative, Smart Prosperity, in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday March 1, 2016.
Federal, provincial, territorial and First Nations leaders are gathering in Vancouver this week for the massive, biennial Globe clean-technology conference.
“On the interaction between the economy and the environment, the discussion used to be about choosing new jobs or else environment protection – about economic growth or else reducing emissions”, said Trudeau, echoing the group’s sentiments.
Asked about the likelihood of Canada missing its 2030 target for cutting emissions, she said meeting the goal would be “challenging” but added this was the direction the world is going.
As Mitchelmore says, there’s already an incentive for industry to become more efficient.
That will be one major sticking point at the Thursday meeting – Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, running for re-election, is dead-set against a carbon tax, while six other provinces have, or will soon have, carbon-pricing plans in place.
Galen Weston of Loblaws will be rubbing shoulders with former Dragon’s Den investor Arlene Dickinson, Shell Canada president Michael Crothers, Telus CEO Darren Entwhistle, Royal Bank special adviser Phil Fontaine and Dominic Barton, the global managing director of consulting giant McKinsey and Company.
Speaking to business and community leaders, he says the choice doesn’t have to be jobs or the environment. We can invest in new ways of doing business.
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard took pains again Wednesday to assure reporters in Vancouver that his province really wasn’t joining the court fight to shut down the $15.7-billion project, but was only attempting to assert provincial environmental jurisdiction.
Trudeau will, as usual, find an ally in Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who revealed the economic impact of her cap-and-trade plan ahead of the provincial budget last week.
Rachel Notley, the Alberta premier who doesn’t face the electorate this spring, was somewhat more restrained but still fired a rhetorical warning shot, saying she plans to “leave the gun in the holster until we are actually at the gunfight, and we are not there right now”.
Elgie, Mitchelmore and Verschuren have been developing Smart Prosperity for two years and see Tuesday’s launch is the start of a much wider conversation with all Canadians about where the country wants to be in 10 years.