Mario Simard is the Bloc Quebecois vice-chair of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources. Mario Simard website

The Bloc Québécois didn’t agree with the Liberals and NDP on the Standing Committee on Natural Resources in their “just transition” report. In issuing a dissenting opinion, they didn’t have a lot to say, either, so Pipeline Online is publishing their entire dissent, verbatim:

The Bloc Québécois disagrees with the final recommendations of the report entitled “Creating a fair and equitable canadian energy transformation”. The Bloc Québécois
believes that the first version of the report, drafted by the analysts and presented to the committee on November 28, 2022, is more faithful to the testimony heard during the
“Just Transition” study. The Bloc Québécois deplores the fact that key concepts, such as the term “Just Transition”, which the committee was asked to consider, have been
completely removed from the final French version.

As a reminder, when Canada signed the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, it pledged with 94 other signatory countries to reduce GHG emissions by 40-45% (from 2005
levels) by 2030 and to become carbon neutral by 2050. Many of the witnesses who appeared before the committee reiterated the importance of these commitments, yet the
final report does not match their testimony. The scientific consensus presented during the study must triumph over mere opinion.

The Bloc Québécois defends the recommendations of trade unions, environmental organizations and climate scientists. The evidence provided by these witnesses should
have guided the report’s conclusion, if the Committee’s true objective was to guide the government’s actions towards a low-carbon economy. In this regard, the Bloc Québécois
thanks all the witnesses who took the time to appear before the committee as part of this study.

The tenacity of the Committee members in evacuating the notion of “Just Transition” from the present report reflects a lack of political courage in the fight against climate
change. While the term “Just Transition” appeared 90 times in the original English version, it was virtually erased from the entire report and recommendations in the final
version. Indeed, the Bloc Québécois denounces the stratagem used by the Committee, which appears to have been subjected to external pressure. Initially, this study was to be
guided by the very principle of “Just Transition”, and the Committee’s conclusions deviate from the initial objective.

The Bloc Québécois is aware that the term “Just Transition” is a young concept that leaves room for multiple interpretations. Among others, it is rejected by the current
Alberta government and the Western oil and gas industry. In its current form, the final report reflects the Committee’s failure to address “Just Transition”, and aligns itself with
the West’s position. During its work, the Committee heard members deny even the reality of climate change, thus diluting the concept of energy transition. The treatment of other
concepts such as “ruralities”, “aboriginal communities” and “energy security” also occupied a disproportionate proportion of the exchanges, deviating from the very objective of the study.

In conclusion, the report tabled by the Committee is so abstract that it will be difficult to implement its recommendations on the legislative front. What’s more, the report’s recommendations are so lightweight as to give the impression that it was no more than a communications exercise.

 

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