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LETTER: Time for Trudeau to act like climate leader

'Trudeau and Minister of the Environment Guilbeault claim to be climate leaders. It’s time for them to act like it'
trudeau with female supporters
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a campaign stop in Orillia at election time. | Dave Dawson/OrilliaMatters file photo

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The annual UN climate summit starts in just a few days. Despite this being a pivotal moment for climate action, Prime Minister Trudeau doesn’t plan to be there.

Leaders from other high emitting nations like the US, UK, France, Germany and Brazil will all attend as the world races to tackle the climate emergency at the speed and scale it warrants. Trudeau’s snub indicates that he is probably – with good reason – embarrassed by Canada’s dismal track record on cutting emissions, and is dodging his responsibility to deliver critical climate action.

He could start by holding the fossil fuel companies accountable and making polluters pay their fair share to fix the problem they created.

Communities around the world are being hit by major climate impacts like wildfires, floods, and storms, and have to deal with the financial toll left in their wake. The climate crisis is fundamentally unjust. Those who bear the least responsibility are bearing the brunt of climate chaos. While all of this is going on, fossil fuel companies — those most responsible for the climate crisis — are counting their enormous profits.

Canada needs a Windfall Profits Tax. These companies shouldn’t just be able to fill their pockets while making the climate crisis worse. Countries around the world are already implementing their own versions, and it’s time Canada followed suit. And our leaders should be at the climate summit to tell the world that Canada will no longer be a laggard.

Trudeau and Minister of the Environment Guilbeault claim to be climate leaders. It’s time for them to act like it.

Gordon Ball