Two days into her job as a rookie environment minister, Catherine McKenna was sent to Paris for the United Nations climate summit, not knowing what “COP21” — the official phrasing for the 2015 meeting — stood for.

She remembers the momentum: the gathering of countries, the urgency, the ambition, the instruction to work closely with Barack Obama’s U.S. administration, the stunned applause when she stood at the podium and said that “Canada is here to help.”

That fateful day in December 2015, Canada joined 195 other countries in committing for the first time to restricting planetary warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels — an improvement on the two-degree commitment that had become par for the course.

But the momentum didn’t last.

Almost as soon as Canada got serious about the climate change emergency, McKenna and her government began fighting provinces over its plan to uphold its Paris commitments by putting a price on pollution.

“It was a different time, and we got an ambitious agreement because the world really did come together,” McKenna told National Observer in her Toronto ministerial office on Aug. 27. “And then look what happened.”

A year after the Paris Agreement was reached, at 2016’s end, Canada’s neighbour elected Donald Trump on an anti-environment agenda. Despite McKenna’s best efforts, which included asking former Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney — the architect of the Canada-U.S. acid rain treaty — for advice on how to keep the United States in the Paris deal, Trump withdrew in June 2017.

The fight at home got more intense as conservative premiers started winning elections. Scott Moe took over from fellow conservative Brad Wall as premier in Saskatchewan in January 2018. Doug Ford ran Kathleen Wynne out of town in Ontario in June 2018, and promptly dismantled her government's cap and trade climate policy. Jason Kenney returned Alberta to conservative government in the summer of 2019, after the oil and gas province's one-term experiment with Rachel Notley's NDP and their first serious climate plan.

These conservative governments and others in Manitoba and New Brunswick are ramping up their fight against carbon pricing, both in court and in the media, as federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer prepares for his own anti-carbon-pricing electoral battle at the ballot box.

Left to right: Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer. File photos by Alex Tétreault

In spite of the shifting and often ferocious political winds, McKenna has gone full throttle on a file that hadn’t been tackled seriously by Canada in 20 years. While often derided as “Climate Barbie,” she has had “this one historic shot” — as one environmentalist put it — to lead the Justin Trudeau government’s efforts to chart the way to a low-carbon future for one of the world’s worst polluters.

“Everyone’s always talking about how I’m fighting. I don’t want to fight them. I want to fight climate change. But I’m not going to step back in the face of governments that aren’t going to do what they need to do" - Catherine McKenna

But has she done enough?

“As frustrating as this is, the reality is just too important,” an animated McKenna said in reflecting on her first four years in public office. “Everyone’s always talking about how I’m fighting. I don’t want to fight them. I want to fight climate change. But I’m not going to step back in the face of governments that aren’t going to do what they need to do.”

“We just have to figure out how we move forward,” she added. “You just grind away.”

‘Unprecedented, yet highly insufficient’

During the afternoon the storm clouds rolled into Toronto, after McKenna spent much of the morning traveling east of the city, being what she’s become known as: an eloquent, passionate champion for climate action.

She committed funding to an information centre at Rouge National Urban Park, a sprawling 80-square kilometre area across four Ontario municipalities that hosts some 1,700 species of plants and animals, including 23 that are currently deemed to be at risk.

That commitment was followed by another, this time in the aisles of home improvement retailer Rona, where McKenna announced the creation of a $200-million (over two years) Energy Savings Rebate Program for Ontarians to help reduce their energy use by up to 60 per cent with cheaper smart thermostats or energy-efficient dishwashers.

This rebate program came on the heels of several more through the federal government’s Low Carbon Economy Fund over the past year. The fund has reallocated the equivalent of Ontario’s funding from its now-cancelled cap and trade system into various projects like the 50 Million Tree Program ($15 million over four years) and the Brampton Transit Electric Bus Program ($7.6 million).

Catherine McKenna, federal minister for the environment and climate change, commits funding for an information centre in Ontario's Rouge Urban Park with Toronto Mayor John Tory and announces an Energy Savings Rebate Program in a hardware store on Aug. 27, 2019. Photos by Cole Burston.

The Trudeau government says that since coming to power in 2015 it has invested some $60 billion in efforts to reduce emissions, adapt to a changing climate and support clean-technology innovation and a complete transition from coal to a clean growth economy. And they have doubled the amount of nature conservation over the course of their time in office

As McKenna’s government sets its sights on a second term in office, environmentalists question whether any of this has been effective.

Several experts said the government's Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change is significant as Canada’s first meaningful attempt to cut carbon pollution at the federal level. The shift in discourse that has come from this — most of which is credited to McKenna — has played a role in its success.

“Renaming the office ‘Environment and Climate Change’ was a big thing from Day 1,” Andrea Olive, an associate professor of political science and geography at the University of Toronto, said in an interview.

“Today there’s more people talking about climate change than ever before,” she said. “Some of that has to be related to federal leadership and the spaces they created for this discourse.”

Ottawa-based sustainability consultant Diane Beckett agreed, saying that the government had been very clear in calling the problem one of “climate pollution” and not “climate emissions.”

“The shift in language has been important as it allows us all to finally visualize that we are using our atmosphere as a great big garbage dump,” she said.

But the rhetorical progress has been undermined by the government’s failure to regulate absolute emissions from Canada’s largest emissions-producing sector: oil and gas.

The Trudeau government has approved two contentious pipeline projects: the Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline, which would carry oil from Alberta to the U.S. Midwest and beyond, and the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which runs from the oil sands to the ports of British Columbia and which Ottawa bought from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion in 2018.

It has also approved the $11.4-billion Pacific NorthWest liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, at the mouth of British Columbia’s Skeena River, which would threaten the migration of sockeye salmon through the Skeena estuary.

Along the way, conservation experts say protections for species at-risk have not been as stringent as they should be at a time when the world is facing its greatest ever biodiversity crisis.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna looks at a turtle at Ontario's Rouge Urban Park on Aug. 27, 2019. Photo by Cole Burston

One climate expert, who wished to remain anonymous to avoid speaking on behalf of their employer, said this all made the Trudeau climate plan “unprecedented, yet highly insufficient.”

“By tying climate action to tarsands and pipeline expansion, the Trudeau government has pitted Canadians against each other,” Beckett said. “Instead, they should have articulated a clear plan for moving Canada off of fossil fuels.

“The economics, technologies and policies are there, and the polls show that Canadians want action on climate change, but the political will is lacking.”

Innovation and an ambiguous relationship with big oil is what many critics have called the Liberals out on.

“Their ongoing support for the oilsands and pipelines is contradictory to a low-carbon economy,” said Dr. Gail Krantzberg, professor of engineering and public policy at McMaster University. “Surely, there are other jobs for Albertans, like innovations in renewable energy.”

It's still too early to say, but critics suggest that without more stringent regulations on the oil and gas industry, Canada will fall short of its international obligations: Environment Canada scientists have warned many times that parts of northern Canada are warming up twice as fast as the rest of the world.

“It will take Canada 200 years to meet our Paris climate targets,” Beckett said. “Yet we have to start reducing our climate emissions next year and cut them in half by 2050, a mere 30 years from now. Instead of reducing our emissions, Canada's climate emissions are increasing and tarsands expansion is being allowed by the government.”

An internal review of the government’s own policies also found that Canada will fall well short of meeting even its 2030 commitments.

Canada's Environment Minster Catherine McKenna seen at an announcement regarding the Low Carbon Economy Fund in Toronto, Ontario on Aug. 27, 2019. Photo by Cole Burston

But it’s not all McKenna and her government’s fault, said Sara Ferwati, co-founder of Climatable, a Montreal-based non-profit focused on involving Canadians in climate action. Lobbying and pushback is part and parcel of the fabric of the federal political system, and has made climate action difficult.

“I think it may be unfair to say one is to blame, or if we had someone else it would be different,” Ferwati said in a phone interview. “McKenna is one player in a large, complex system facing pushback and lobbying … The fight is a difficult one.”

“The fact is, we need a different frame on how to have climate action outside of the federal government,” she said. “I was more hopeful in seeing more drastic action and targets. I think we’ve seen some initiative, but it’s insufficient in the context of meaningfully mitigating the climate crisis.”

If the choice is between having no climate policy or accepting weak policy, then McKenna and company may be winners, these experts say. But Canadians, they add, deserve more than just those two options.

‘A transition doesn't happen overnight’

“There’s the positive and the negative, but I am a realistic optimist, so I can see both,” McKenna said matter-of-factly, responding to criticism of the Liberals’ climate action plan.

McKenna acknowledged, for example, that the government’s effort to push through the Trans Mountain pipeline — going so far as to buy it outright — makes for a tough juxtaposition next to its climate commitments. But she presented it as part of a pragmatic balancing act appropriate for a temporary period she defines as “Canada is in transition."

“I'm not in the business of pleasing people,” she said. “We need to have an ambitious and pragmatic climate plan and, yes, it is absolutely true that we need to be more ambitious. We have to do more. But this is the transition that everyone knows would be really easy if we didn't have any fossil fuels. If you are not an economy that was natural resource based, transition would be really easy.”

Graphic by Alastair Sharp and Fatima Syed

In many ways, McKenna absolves herself with the argument that it was worse when the Conservatives were in power. She harkens back to the Stephen Harper era, when scientists were muzzled and climate change wasn’t a term commonly used.

And the Conservatives’ current plan, she added, “is written by oil lobbyists.”

That plan, presented June 19, intends to reduce emissions through Green Investment Standards, whereby “major emitters” would have to lower their carbon pollution to a standard specific to their industry. It would also require firms to pay for clean technology, reform air quality regulations and provide new tax deductions for industries that can cut emissions in foreign countries.

McKenna believes the plan isn’t strong enough, having previously called it a “fake plan.”

It’s an endless back and forth: she critiques the Conservative plan as they continue to critique hers. Just this week she has come under fire for backtracking her comments on exploring an increase in the carbon price after 2022. Onlookers say if she was serious, she would do what is necessary. Scheer's Conservatives say she's bankrupting Canadians. But she commits to toeing the line with her plan.

“The reality is we're talking about 2040. Making sure all vehicles are electric — that is super ambitious.” McKenna said. “But the reality is people are still using oil and gas. We haven't gotten to the point that there isn't this demand for it.

Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna reflects on her first four years in public office in an interview with National Observer on Aug. 27, 2019 in Toronot, Ont. Photo by Cole Burston

“This is not an excuse,” she added. “We do need to figure out the transition. But all these things that we're doing are driving different decisions as well. You can't lose sight of that.”

In this back and forth, McKenna says a key crux of her job has been to convey to the average Canadian that the challenge of taking climate action can also improve affordability — always a key focus come election time.

The government will help cover some of the cost to consumers of buying energy-efficient appliances through rebates, for example, which will also enable them to save money on energy bills. It’s a pocketbook argument that takes account of the longer-term, McKenna said: “If there is no planet, there's no economy.”

And while the Conservatives have nevertheless sought to use it to their electoral advantage, calling the carbon-pricing plan “a job-killing carbon tax” and pointing out the Liberals have not committed to an increase after 2022, McKenna stands behind it.

“A transition doesn't happen overnight,” McKenna said. “It doesn't happen without the hard work that comes with it. Policies have to be implemented properly. You have to think about unintended consequences. You do have to consult. Ultimately, you have to just do them.”

“And, then, like every other country, you’ve got to come back and do more,” she added. “The Paris Agreement requires that. And I think, for the first four years, we've implemented what we've said. We literally went from zero to 100.”

Election is coming

McKenna has travelled across the country to deliver her government’s climate plan. She said nowhere in this country is climate devastation more powerfully displayed than in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., an Inuvialuit hamlet north of the Arctic circle.

There, McKenna said, a confluence of the rapid thawing of the permafrost — which has made the ground vulnerable — and extreme storms have destroyed sections of land and left “houses literally hanging by the sea.”

There is no doubt that McKenna is committed to dealing with the global climate emergency. But the effectiveness of her government’s plan remains to be decided by the history books, which are still being written, one court challenge and provincial dissention at a time.

“It is too early to tell. The price on carbon is not high enough to change consumer or industry behaviour. And cap and trade inclusion could force the market upwards and help reduce emissions,” said Krantzberg, the McMaster University professor. “This is good; clearly a climate change strategy is within the federal purview. Pushing hard on climate change mitigation and adaptation responses should be central to the federal government's priorities.”

In this regard, McKenna, as Canada's second-longest-serving environment minister, has been “very passionate, focused, clear and deliberate,” Krantzberg said. “She should have another four years to push the agenda and make more substantive changes.”

Catherine McKenna, Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change, is seen at an event in Toronto, Ont. with John Tory on Aug. 27, 2019. Photo by Cole Burston.

Olive, the University of Toronto professor, agrees.

“It’s so hard for the federal government to do anything on climate change because of the way federalism works,” she said. “It’s been a rollercoaster for climate policy, but McKenna has ridden it through.”

The problem, Olive said, is that while the environment has continued to “play hardball,” the Trudeau government has chosen to fight it by compromising and trying to work with provinces.

“That’s commendable, I guess,” she said. It’s just been difficult. Because we got Trump. And then Scott Moe, Doug Ford and Jason Kenney. And now, maybe Andrew Scheer.

“That is tough, but that is life,” McKenna said when asked about the reversal of the political context — both at home and abroad — since she went to Paris in 2015. “I wish this wasn't political. I don't think it should be political. But I honestly do not think that there was more we could have done.”

McKenna doesn’t expect high-fives, but remains confident that she — and her government — did everything they could in four years, and worries that all that could be undone in October.

While one can argue whether or not she has done everything she could, she seems not to understand that what she did is hopelessly inadequate.

She's doing everything she can. If you think you can do more, you should step up and do it.

OR, at least, make some recommendations for what she might do.

I'd be glad to take the job. Let me know how to do so in the short time we have.

We can a) put a cap on emissions and make reductions legally binding, b) stop subsidizing the oil and gas industry...if we have any kind of free market why do we need to hand out billions every year? c) tell the truth to the public about what we will likely face in the coming decades, d) stop the tarsands from developing any more sites and provide opportunities for retraining of workers, e) provide greater incentives to develop public transport, to buy electric cars, to retrofit homes, f) collect tax owing from those avoiding taxes, especially among the rich and corporations, and add a transaction tax to all investment activity, to fund the transition, g) tax private transportation according to the weight of the vehicle, h) tax people who fly more, i) implement electoral reform so that parties can work together to implement change rather than to fight each other, j) plant millions of trees and protect the forests we have. Ten ways to reduce emissions or fund their reduction as apart of transition to a carbon neutral society.

Good--though we need billions of trees rather than just millions--and I assume h} meant "tax people more for flying". I can't understand why the summary of their record didn't include the obvious subsidization!

Good--though we need billions of trees rather than just millions--and I assume h} meant "tax people more for flying". I can't understand why the summary of their record didn't include the obvious subsidization! And instead of just approving the expansion of TM we are supposed to pay for it and own it--unless they can foist it off on some unsuspecting group such as a couple of First Nations groups who don't know what they might be getting into...

The impression that I get is that the oil industry continues to lobby, some might argue highly successfully, both publicly and behind closed doors, regardless of the government in power.

Perhaps McKenna has done everything in her power that she could do while still following a traditional policy approach to a 'political' problem? But this is not a political problem, it's an existential threat and the approach needs to be different.

I'm beginning to think that the only way forward is for the population to get out and vote and completely nuke the oil lobby and their proxies in the PPC and Conservative party at the polls. Once the dust settles from that a multi-party 'war cabinet' to fight this may be possible. Without that we may be stuck with our two current unappealing options - weak measures or no measures at all.

It's absurd for Trudeau to claim that we need to continue on our present course to earn enough money to go green. His government is more interested in propping up the fossil fuel industry than the lives of ordinary Canadians and especially First Nations whose lands and resources are being ravaged by the oil monster.

McKenna alone can't change their collective mindset on that but she's complicit in charting a dangerous course. She knows exactly what she's doing.

It seems to me that the Liberals have waited till the last year of their mandate to act in any substantive way on climate change, and then their greatest accomplishment will have been, maybe, to meet the goals for emissions reductions set by the Harper government. This would be only 60% of the reduction the IPCC report says we must reach by 2030 if we are to do our part in addressing runaway climate change. In this light, McKenna has been an abject failure. There are no caps on emissions, the fossil fuel industry is still being heavily subsidized and Canada is the highest per capita emitter of C02 after Saudi Arabia.

Sure, the Liberals have done better than the Conservatives, who are mostly hardcore deniers, but that's not saying a lot. The Liberals like to talk about evidence-based policy, but when it comes to climate, they ignore what science is telling us we must do to lessen the coming disastrous effects of climate change. As well, the Liberals have done next to nothing about educating Canadians on what we are facing in the coming decades. We should not only expect, but demand that whoever wins the October election do a lot more to reduce emissions and actively encourage our economy to dramatically increase the pace of transition away from our reliance on oil and gas.

We need real change at the national level so that a new wave of "Eure Schuld!" doesn't make its way into North America.

I don't think it would have been grandstanding on the part of McKenna to resign in loud and articulate protest when early in the Trudeau governnment's mandate it was glaringly evident how bullish the Liberal cabinet was going to be on championing the TransMountain Pipeline. It was incredibly evident to anyone with even meager perception that the pipeline, together with Keystone XL would torpedo anything Canada committed to at Paris, and it would green light to industry's interested 'players' much more expansion of the already staggering level of exploitation of the Athabasca bitumen sands. Resigning would have been effective, it would have been a timely and huge dressing down of the Liberal government on it's pretensions to be standing up for both the environment and the status of indigenous people's rights in this country. She was silent on TransMountain, her silence was deafening. Right now she is simply apple polishing her profile. I call bullshit.

@ Peter Morgan.... great posts, Peter !

Let's get real.
Notley and Trudeau merely signed on to Big Oil's fraudulent "climate" plan -- a deal forged by Big Oil and corporate Canada YEARS BEFORE Notley and Trudeau came to power.
Big Oil's climate plan permits oilsands expansion enabled by new export pipelines in return for a nominal carbon tax that would not impair their profits and a fraudulent oilsands cap. Window dressing.
Under the AB NDP's climate plan, the oilsands industry's grossly under-reported emissions would rise for decades, sabotaging Canada's climate action.
McKenna, Trudeau, and Notley are betting that the world will fail to take real climate action in time. They are betting on climate disaster. The only scenario in which oilsands expansion makes sense.
A plan to fail.

"The New Climate Denialism: Time for an Intervention" (The Narwhal, Sep 26, 2016)
• thenarwhal.ca/new-climate-denialism-time-intervention

The sordid plot is detailed in Donald Gutstein's book, "The Big Stall: How Big Oil and Think Tanks are Blocking Action on Climate Change in Canada".
Gutstein details how neoliberal "progressive" politicians like Trudeau and Notley subverted the climate change agenda and enabled Big Oil's "predatory delay":
"The Rise and Fall of Trudeau’s ‘Grand Bargain’ on Climate" (The Tyee, 14 Nov 2018)
https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2018/11/14/Trudeau-Climate-Bargain/

"Justin Trudeau’s grand bargain with Big Oil exposed in Donald Gutstein's The Big Stall (The Georgia Straight, Nov 14th, 2018 )
https://www.straight.com/news/1164161/justin-trudeaus-grand-bargain-big-...

"'The Big Stall' details how neoliberal think tanks blocked action on climate change"
• rabble.ca/books/reviews/2019/04/big-stall-details-how-neoliberal-think-tanks-blocked-action-climate-change

"The Big Stall traces the origins of the govt’s climate change plan back to Big Oil. It shows how, in the last fifteen years, Big Oil has infiltrated provincial and federal govts, academia, media and the non-profit sector to sway govt and public opinion on the realities of climate change
"This is how Big Oil and think tanks unraveled the Kyoto Protocol and how Rachel Notley and Justin Trudeau came to deliver the Business Council of Canada’s energy plan. Donald Gutstein explains how and why the door has been left wide open for oil companies to determine their own futures in Canada, and to go on fracking new "natural" gas wells, building new oilsands plants and constructing new pipelines.
"The Trudeau govt’s purchase of the TM pipeline in 2018 illustrates how entrenched neoliberalism has become. Under neoliberalism, the role of govt is to create and enforce markets and prop them up when they fail, just as Trudeau did."
"The Rise and Fall of Trudeau’s ‘Grand Bargain’ on Climate" (The Tyee, 14 Nov 2018)
https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2018/11/14/Trudeau-Climate-Bargain/
------------------
"Justin Trudeau’s grand bargain with Big Oil exposed in Donald Gutstein's The Big Stall
"Gutstein reports in The Big Stall that six months after the Winnipeg Consensus was drafted, in 2009, heavy hitters involved in the energy industry and representatives of a small number of environmental organizations met in Banff.
"Among them was the Pembina Institute’s Marlo Raynolds, who later became chief of staff to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna.
Another person at this event was Gerald Butts, president of the World Wildlife Fund Canada, who is now the senior political adviser to Trudeau. D’Aquino’s successor, former Liberal cabinet minister John Manley, was also present.
“But the biggest news from Banff was the presence of six representatives of a new player on the scene, the Energy Policy Institute of Canada (EPIC),” Gutstein writes. “This organization was incorporated the same month the Winnipeg Consensus was reached, October 2009. It had the backing of Canada’s largest fossil fuel companies, like Shell Canada, Imperial Oil, Canadian Natural Resources, and Suncor Energy, pipeline companies TransCanada Corporation and Enbridge, plus the major fossil fuel industry associations and especially the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.”
"Gutstein told the Straight that he believes Manley was groomed for his position as president and CEO of the Business Council of Canada because he would be well positioned to endorse a carbon tax as part of a grand bargain that would also ensure a Liberal government would include pipeline projects in any national climate plan."
(The Georgia Straight, Nov 14th, 2018 )
https://www.straight.com/news/1164161/justin-trudeaus-grand-bargain-big-...

McKenna: "But the reality is people are still using oil and gas. We haven't gotten to the point that there isn't this demand for it."

No small thanks to the efforts of the fossil fuel industry itself.
The industry knows what needs to be done to address climate change. Which is why they are doing everything they can to prevent it.
The fossil fuel industry obstructs demand-side solutions, e.g., by opposing carbon taxes and lobbying against renewables.
-E.g., Big Oil spent millions of dollars on a campaign to defeat a carbon tax plan in Washington State.
-Fossil fuel and utility companies spend millions of dollars on lobbyists to shut out renewables from the market.
-Millions of dollars more on climate-change-denial campaigns using Big Tobacco's playbook.
-Millions more on lobbying to delay or weaken regulations.
-Milking govts for endless subsidies.

Put a significant price on carbon, and watch what happens.
Internalize the costs of climate change and fossil fuel pollution, and the price signal will guide consumers to make rational choices.
As it is now, we are subsidizing our own destruction.

McKenna: "A transition doesn't happen overnight."

The transition will take precisely as long as we choose. The Liberals choose to make the transition over decades we don't have. The Conservatives aren't even in the ball game.
Oilsands production and emissions are set to rise for decades. AB's emissions show no sign of falling. Canada has no hope of meeting its 2030 and 2050 targets.
Transitions start by moving in the direction you wish to travel. Doubling down on fossil fuels takes us in the wrong direction.

If McKenna truly believed the science, she should have done the honorable thing and resigned. Instead, she signed off on fossil fuel expansion — and defended the indefensible.
If even our Environment Minister bets on climate failure, what hope do we have?

There are a number of excellent comments here about the utter inadequacy of Liberal climate policies. The difference between the Liberals and the Conservatives is that the Conservatives don’t pretend to be progressive. Ms. McKenna defends her government’s approach as “a pragmatic balancing act”. But the Liberals, wedded as they are to corporate power, will always find “pragmatic” reasons for not doing what ought to be done. That’s something to keep in mind during the upcoming election campaign, when the Liberals try to position themselves as champions simultaneously of economic growth and of environmental protection.

This article comes rather close to being a puff piece for McKenna and the Liberal government. As a subscriber, this concerns me.

Excellent contributions by Peter Morgan and Geoffrey Pounder, thank you. To my knowledge, the Liberal government has never demonstrated how they can have their cake and eat it too. Their own data show the gap. In the end, McKenna plays along with pretend-crowd.

It would seem that the most desirable outcome of October 21 would be a Liberal minority with a dozen Greens to force the Libs to do more and lay off on supporting expansion of the oil & gas industry. A (poor) second best would be a Conservative minority with the Greens able to prevent the Cons doing the worst damage. I hate to admit it, but strategic voting -- riding by riding -- seems once again called for. A Con majority would spell disaster.

Some will note that the Greens are not the only party who would hold a minority government to account. The Federal NDP, for example, are also prepared to do that and at the same time would not support some of their other neoliberal inclinations--as the Greens probably would--and still have a better probability of being elected in many ridings than a Green candidate. To be successful, strategic voting needs to be based on good math and logic, not just on one's assumption about how one particular party might help solve one particular problem.

She has done as well as can be expected to this point. We are in a global war for survival of our species and most others, for the first time in in the history of this planet, so far as the geologic record is readable. 'Also it is now evident to those who will look, that it is us who are the cause of climate change now . It is us who are using up and fouling the capacity of our Earth's biosphere to sustain life as we know it. That is the message that has to be trumpeted globally so that nation states such as ours and most others will see it in their interest to act positively to change their live style to one that is sustainable . We are in a capsule floating in space, with a closed system for sustaining live through recycling its components in a life sustaining way. Our species has yet to adopt that way. We are where we are today because of a linear plan of perpetual growth that is not possible. We still have a little time to adjust to a regenerative path compatible with what Nature can sustain until some exterior force such as occurred some 66 million years ago when a meteor hit this earth and extinguished most advanced species.
A strategy such as the one that resulted in winning the 2nd. world war in 1945 or the Montreal Protocol that saved the ozone layer, is called for.
My thoughts to date.!

Note that some of the advanced species of dinosaurs were not extinguished and live on as the 10,400 or so species of birds. Homo sapiens is not likely to be so lucky!

As an Atlantic Canadian, I am disgusted by McKenna's claim that she's done everything she can for the climate. Did that include the time she let BP drill off the coast of Nova Scotia? This is the company that unleashed a massive oil spill in the gulf of Mexico. How was that supposed to help the climate? Maybe she thought, well, all that oil they spill is oil that won't get burned in combustion engines. But it would have had devastating effects on marine life, the fisheries, and the wildlife of Sable Island. McKenna put all that at risk.

Perhaps she misspoke. She meant to say, "I've done everything I can for the oil companies." Now that's a claim that better corresponds to her record.