Rona delivered on another Conservative campaign promise and made history today by introducing Canada’s Clean Air Act, the next component of the New Government’s environmental agenda.
After 13 years of Liberal inaction on the environment, Canada’s New Government is getting things done to improve air quality and protect the health of Canadians.
Canada’s Clean Air Act and subsequent Notice of Intent to regulate demonstrates a clear commitment by Canada’s New Government to short, medium and long term industrial air pollution targets.
The failed approach of the previous Liberal government relied on voluntary compliance by industry. The legislative and regulatory actions proposed today by Canada’s New Government would compel polluters to respect emissions limits and enforce emissions targets that would exceed those proposed by the previous government and will produce real environmental progress here in Canada.
If approved by Parliament, Canada’s Clean Air Act will work to improve the health of Canadians by cleaning up the air we breathe.
Canada’s New Government is moving forward with a fresh approach:
Voluntary compliance has yielded few real results, regulated targets will. Regulated targets, while strict, will be met on sensible timelines, with flexible mechanisms to achieve results at the least possible cost and after meaningful consultation.
- Scattered initiatives are unfair and ineffective, comprehensive standards on all sectors are. There will be no free-riders, no uncertainty and no further damage to Canada's international credibility.
- Dealing with greenhouse gases and air pollutants separately is senseless, as they often share the same sources. We will tackle both, thus avoiding perverse effects and delivering value for money to the Canadian taxpayer.
With the proposed legislative and regulatory actions, Canada’s New Government would adopt fixed caps on air pollutants beginning in 2010 and fixed caps for greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. The New Government is also committed to achieving an absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 45 to 65% from 2003 levels by 2050.
Over the next three years, new regulations, targets and timelines will be discussed and set. They will lead to significant and long-term reductions in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from industry, transportation and consumer products, as well as new standards for energy efficiency in a wide range of everyday products and appliances.
The introduction of Canada’s Clean Air Act builds on a number of other practical and effective steps by Canada’s New Government to clean up our air, land and water including:
federal tax credit to offset part of the cost of monthly transit passes;
a commitment to a 5% average renewable content in Canadian motor fuels by 2010;
- a pollution prevention plan for base metal smelters which will reduce sulphur dioxide and metal pollutants, such as lead and mercury;
- action to reduce the release of almost ten tonnes of mercury into the air by collecting car switches containing mercury before the cars are recycled; and
- the development, in consultation with the provinces and territories, of a new national Air Quality Health Index, a first of its kind health-information tool to help alert Canadians to poor air quality days.
Canada’s New Government is taking real action now to get things done for the environment and improve the health or Canadians.