Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.


The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Senate kills climate-change bill ahead of UN talks in Mexico

Opposition MPs and environmental activists say Canada is going into global-warming talks empty-handed after a majority of Conservative senators voted down a climate-change bill.

A snap vote in the Senate on Tuesday caught Liberals in the Upper House off guard, and not enough Grits showed up to save the bill from losing by a narrow margin of 43-42.

NDP Leader Jack Layton, whose party introduced the bill, called it "outrageous" an unelected Senate can kill what he says is important legislation.

He said Canada now has nothing to show heading into a coming round of United Nations climate talks in Mexico.

"The government has no plan going into a conference on the future of the climate-change crisis in this country," he said.

"Canada will be one of the few, probably the only country, who has absolutely nothing. The only thing we had going for us was that the House of Commons had adopted the targets established by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning scientists of the United Nations, who represent the best thinking globally."

The bill — the Climate Change Accountability Act — had spent the last year or so bouncing between the House of Commons and its environment committee.

The Commons passed the bill in May and it went to the Senate for final approval.

The legislation calls for greenhouse gases to be cut 25 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.

That's more stringent than the Harper government's goal of a 17 per cent emissions cut from 2005 levels by 2020, which is in line with the Obama administration's targets in the United States.

Delegates from nearly 200 countries will meet in the resort town of Cancun later this month and try to broker an international climate-change deal.

Environmentalists also decried the bill's defeat.

"As we head into the UN climate talks in Cancun later this month, it is unacceptable that Canada's only climate-change legislation has been defeated after years of majority support from our elected members of Parliament and their constituents," Graham Saul of the Climate Action Network Canada said in a statement.

For more from the Canadian Press click here, or scroll down the Tyee's main page.

Find more in:

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus