By: Jason Reed on
Tom Mulcair, Leader of the Opposition and NDP MP for Outremont, in a speech on May 6, 2015
It is true the budget does not contain the term “climate change,” but it is misleading to claim that the budget ignores the subject entirely. There is a close reference, plus funding for projects to reduce GHG emissions.FactsCan Score: Misleading
In a speech at the University of Ottawa in May, Tom Mulcair criticized the government’s performance on its greenhouse gas reduction targets. He said, “the Conservatives’ recent budget made no mention of climate change.”
It’s true that the words “climate change,” together, do not appear in the 2015 federal budget. But it’s a stretch to say there is no mention of climate change when other related phrases are in there, like “changing climate” (page 94), and, perhaps more importantly, the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
For example, the government pledged $66 million to support the construction of the North Commuter Parkway and Traffic Bridge Replacement Project in Saskatoon to improve access to the downtown core, reducing travel times and congestion. According to the government, this will “result in reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved air quality for city residents.”
Overall, the government budgeted more than $1 billion to support the Clean Air Regulatory Agenda, nearly $4.5 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and $1.5 billion for the provinces and territories to invest in large projects that reduce GHG emissions and air pollution.
Most of this money remains unallocated at present, so if these funds will contribute to reducing GHG emissions or address climate change is unknown. But their existence in the budget undermines Mulcair’s claim.
While “climate change” verbatim is missing, it is misleading to claim the budget is silent on the subject. There are related phrases plus several financial commitments for projects that explicitly aim to reduce GHG emissions.