Green Party Leadership: Enforcing Boat Harbour Act Respects First Nation and Environment

December 20, 2019

The Green Party of Nova Scotia congratulates Premier McNeil on making this historical move after 50+ years of ineffective measures and wishful thinking on the part of past governments. “The government is now following their own law”, says Thomas Trappenberg.

Green Party Leader Thomas Trappenberg points out that, “The real failure of this issue was the lack of vision for a change to a modern industry. This is why we need a more visionary government. While changes in the forestry industry will likely create hardships in the short term, I am confident that the forestry industry will emerge even stronger in the long run.”

Premier Stephen McNeil’s recent announcement, of not extending the deadline for the Northern Pulp mill effluent in Pictou and that $50 million will be put towards the transition fund to help forestry sector workers affected by the mill closure, is met with great relief by the Green Party of Nova Scotia.

Closing the mill is the right thing to do and the only course of action that leads to justice for the Pictou Landing First Nation.” says Deputy Leader Jessica Alexander, “Nova Scotia forests should be purposed for higher-value products than kraft pulp. Taxpayer money is better spent investing in local human capital than on subsidizing international companies.

It is very important that we kept our word to Pictou Landing First Nation”, leader Thomas Trappenberg explained, “They have suffered for so many years.” He adds, “Nobody wants people to lose their jobs and we recognize that there are challenges for workers and the forestry industry. Help for their transition is therefore also the right thing to do.

The Green Party is looking forward to seeing more details of what the transition will look like and hopes that protecting the mill workers’ pensions is part of the plan.

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Media Contact:  Dr. Thomas Trappenberg

Leader, Green Party of Nova Scotia

leader@greenpartyns.ca

902-414-3960

 

Jessica Alexander

Leader, Green Party of Nova Scotia

deputy.leader@greenpartyns.ca

902-225-9130

Climate Strike – by Keith Towse

The Green Party of Nova Scotia marches with the young people on the streets of Halifax and communities across Nova Scotia today.  Climate change is a threat to Nova Scotians – its impacts will include sea level rise and increasing coastal erosion, more frequent extreme weather events, and altered weather and rainfall patterns. We applaud the Ecology Action Centre for publishing two reports recently showing that Nova Scotians can take action and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 60% from 2005 levels. We can do this through changing how we generate our electricity and heat our homes, increasing the energy efficiency of all the buildings we live and work in and using more electric vehicles.  But, as our leader, Thomas Trappenberg, and deputy leader, Jessica Alexander, agree, “We must make sure that introducing these changes protects those Nova Scotian’s who can’t afford to heat their homes now. More than 20% of Nova Scotians experience energy poverty, and we must ensure that the benefits of clean renewable energy are shared by everyone”,

The Green Party calls for all political parties to cooperate to make sure that the changes which are needed are implemented now – we can’t wait for more studies or debates. We must listen to the young people who march and whose futures are most at risk from climate change. We can take action now.

Changes we can make right now include:

  • Pass legislation setting targets for increasing the percentage of our electricity which comes from renewables to 60% in 2023, 80% in 2026 and 95% in 2030. This should not increase the price of electricity significantly – the cheapest form of new power generation now is onshore wind, which will soon be cheaper than existing coal or gas fired generation:
  • Scrap the ineffective Cap and Trade regulations introduced by the Liberal Government and introduce a Carbon Tax of $50 per tonne CO2e (increasing at $10 per tonne CO2e per year), requiring that proceeds from the Carbon Tax are returned to Nova Scotians who are most impacted by the additional costs, in the form of quarterly cash distributions and subsidized energy efficiency programs. “Implementing this Carbon Tax will be less expensive than dealing with the climate crisis that results if we miss the IPCC target”, says Thomas Trappenberg.
  • Requiring that all new housing meets stringent energy efficiency standards and introducing programs to retrofit existing housing to the same energy efficiency standards.

The Ecology Action Centre report indicates the financial savings from reduced fuel use in buildings and personal vehicles, and reduced fossil fuel purchases for power generation could largely pay for the annualized investments in deep energy retrofits, electric vehicles, and renewable electricity generation.

We can afford it; the future of our Province requires it and our young people demand it.