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NEWS: The Conservatives stall C-311 in the Senate

An NDP media release states that, “The NDP’s Bill C-311, the Climate Change Accountability Act, has been gathering dust in the senate since it was passed by the House of Commons in early May.”

On May 5, the House of Commons voted 149 to 136 and passed C-311. The bill calls for greenhouse gases to be cut 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

“When challenged on Tuesday (October 5), Senate leader Marjory LeBreton refused to consider the bill, or give any indication when, or even if, the government would call it for debate – effectively leaving the country’s only federal climate change legislation in limbo.”

“Senate rules state that only the government can conclude debate on a bill or schedule votes.”

The Harper government has called for an emissions cut of 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. When translated to the standard baseline year of 1990, this target equates to a 2.5 increase over 1990 levels by 2020.

“Harper has designated oil and gas sector veteran Richard Neufeld to lead the government’s debate on the climate bill in the senate…”

In just over seven weeks the COP 16 climate summit will begin in Cancun, Mexico.

There appears to be little likelihood that C-311 will pass the Senate by the time of this crucial climate summit. Canadians demand better.

The Council of Canadians has been calling on its members to support C-311 since early December 2009. Although we demand deeper emission reductions, we believe this legislation is a step in the right direction.

We will also be in Cancun as part of a global movement demanding climate justice.

The proposals from the Peoples World Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth – which the Council of Canadians participated in this past April – have now been included in the official negotiating text that will be central to the talks in Cancun.

We are currently planning a series of workshops for the Dialogo Climatico in Cancun, a book launch, a demonstration and participation in a major march, and much more. More details soon.