Article: NDP rolls out old climate bill with new hope

June 16th, 2011 - 12:11am

Kristy Kirkup ,Parliamentary Bureau- Toronto Star
Ottawa- The NDP's "hopelessly optimistic" new environment critic is resurrecting a climate bill and hopes third time will be the charm.
Megan Leslie, who jokingly admitted she is the most hopelessly optimistic MP, on Wednesday tabled the Climate Accountability Act, which proposes establishing limits for green house gas emissions and regular environmental progress reports from the government.
If passed, the bill would require Canadian greenhouse gas emissions to be 25% less than 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.
The New Democrat's climate bill has been introduced twice before and passed through the House both times.
Last November, it was controversially defeated in the unelected Senate.
It is unlikely the bill will make it to the upper chamber now. The Conservatives haven't supported the legislation in the past and they now have a majority mandate.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has called the proposal "completely irresponsible" and said the targets would have a negative impact on Canada's recovering economy.
Leslie says it's time to invest in green energy.
"The oilsands are not the only economic driver available to us," Leslie said. "We have an oilsands worth of energy at our fingertips in energy efficiency. We have an oilsands worth of energy in renewable in this country.
"What we lack is the political will of this government to see these opportunities for what they are. They are opportunities to create jobs, they are opportunities to ensure our own energy security and they are opportunities to meet our international climate obligations."
Leslie said she hopes that after enough "spanking" from the international community," the government will be more on board with action to address climate change.