Skip to main content

Justin Trudeau takes part in an election rally in Vaughan, Ont., on Oct. 18, 2019.Stephane Mahe/Reuters

Keep your Opinions sharp and informed. Get the Opinion newsletter.

From the Comments is designed to highlight interesting and thoughtful contributions from our readers. Some comments have been edited for clarity. Everyone can read the comments but only subscribers will be able to contribute. Thank you to everyone furthering debate across our site.

Readers respond: Trudeau’s new cabinet to focus on green economy and climate change, sources say

Germany and Russia are building a 1,200-kilometre natural-gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea. China is building 300 coal-fired power plants along its version of the Silk Road. And Canada contributes less than 2 per cent to world greenhouse emissions.

But more importantly, Canada’s productivity and income per capita continue to decline vis-à-vis other countries. We have fallen behind Norway with its oil and gas revenues and Ireland with its competitive tax environment. And we are parading phantom green jobs to manage what is effectively a non-Canadian problem.

How do we stop pandering to noise? How do we bring back common sense to government? –Hatley1

Here is my observation on one area of green thinking.

I look around my southern Ontario grocery store and I see apples from China and fish from China and walnuts from China. Hello? China is at a similar latitude as Canada, and so our apples and walnuts and fish are harvested at the same times as those in China. Why are we not tailoring policies to encourage the consumption of food from nearby, instead of food from China that is 100 times as far away, requiring shipping in ships and planes from other side of world?

The Chinese should eat Chinese apples, and the Canadians should eat Canadian apples. Voilà, in one simple step you save tons of fuel on shipping fruit to the other side of the planet. – Doctor Demento

The definition of “green” jobs is hilarious. I just looked at the report.

Anyone who works in nuclear or hydro is included, as are bus drivers, bike shops, window companies, etc. The definition is for anyone who either produces zero-emission energy (at source) or lowers consumption. Ironically green groups hate nuclear and hydro, but add them into the great “new” green economy.

Now I can look at my son and say, “Son, I was a lowly engineer in the oil industry, but you can do better working in the green economy. You can be a bus driver or work at a bike shop. – Practical Guy from Alberta

‘Norway did something that Alberta refused to do.’ Readers examine Western fortunes, plus other letters to the editor

‘Let’s hope he doesn’t last 15 years as well.’ Readers compare Justin and Pierre Trudeau, plus other letters to the editor

'As a Canadian, I am shocked and utterly disgusted.’ What readers think of Encana’s exit, plus other letters to the editor

Justin Trudeau takes part in a press conference in Ottawa on Sept. 19, 2017.Chris Wattie/Reuters

The dirty little secret of green jobs is that to the extent that we replace an efficient process with one which is less efficient, overall societal wealth goes down. We are basically poorer because we, as a society, are not making efficient use of our people, capital, etc.

A simple example is hiring people to better insulate houses to save energy. In purely economic terms, if it costs more to do the refit than you save on energy costs on a present-value basis, then society has an efficiency loss. Government subsidies (grants to insulate your house) or penalties (a carbon tax) do not factor into the formula, since they are just redistributive. You still may decide to do it, but people should at least be informed that it is a choice.

There is a fairly broad scientific consensus that fossil fuels, on an economic basis, are more cost-efficient than the alternatives, and will continue to be without some scientific breakthrough which is not on the horizon. As such, the more we invest in green jobs which decrease efficiency, the poorer we will get.

It’s like taxing your way to prosperity. – BDPLibrary

We should never see the glass half-full. The global demand for clean innovation – new technologies, products and practices that improve environmental performance – is rapidly growing. Accelerating the pace of clean innovation in Canada is not only an important tool for meeting climate and environmental goals, it also represents a critical economic opportunity across all Canadian sectors.

Canada’s cleantech sector can tap into a fast-growing global market that is expected to be worth as much as $2.5-trillion by 2020. Resource and manufacturing sectors can also gain market advantage through clean innovation. For example, McKinsey estimates that improvements in energy and resource efficiency will represent a $3.8-trillion economic opportunity by 2030. – ThinkAhead

Fighting climate change is like fighting windmills. Adjusting to the present climate change is much more important and might involve relocating millions of people, housing and agricultural/industrial facilities to higher grounds. We will have to rethink, then relearn how we waste and misappropriate our resources. – Qwls Mirror

Justin Trudeau speaks to the press for the first time after winning a minority government in the federal election on Oct. 23, 2019.Stephane Mahe/Reuters

I am curious to see how the cabinet will focus on the green economy and climate change. In my estimation, the only necessary focus is to ensure that electricity generation keeps pace with soon-to-be-exploding demand for electric vehicles. Despite nonsense from naysayers that EVs are just as dirty as gas vehicles, EVs alone will drastically reduce emissions as long as new energy is green. Given relatively limited prospects for hydro, this probably means reviving nuclear energy.

The more serious issue is dealing with the generational divide which is fueling neo-socialism. Millennials are struggling to keep pace with their baby-boomer parents. New jobs are increasingly part-year, part-time with few benefits. In addition, home ownership is not affordable nor are children. Our society is collapsing and all Justin Trudeau wants to do is focus on fringe issues when the economy and growth should be front and centre. – Redmaple

My biggest concern is that we are going to try and follow the Ontario Liberal model, and look how well that is working. We will be left with huge debt and high electricity costs. Look at Germany and California. – RONHOLCEK

The last time a Liberal preached about the “green economy,” my electricity bill tripled and old people had to decide between food or heat. – Quiet revolution

Justin Trudeau campaigns in Fredericton on Sept. 18, 2019.John Morris/The Associated Press

Justin Trudeau’s new cabinet will reflect diversity, except in the inconvenient fact that it will overwhelmingly be from Central and Eastern Canada. – Hans55

1958: Zero Liberals elected west of Manitoba.

1980: Zero Liberals elected west of Manitoba.

1984: One Liberal in British Columbia.

We’ve seen this before. – northerncrank

I’m disappointed that Justin Trudeau will again go with a 50-50 gender split of cabinet. Why not go with “the most qualified gets the job?” Then we end up with whatever – more women or more men, but the most qualified cabinet. Guess I’m naive. – BDABJ

“The most qualified gets the job" fills the decision-making posts across business and government with white men, leaving often better qualified women banging futilely on that glass ceiling. I favour a race- and gender-blind model where only the qualifications are considered.

As we have seen in orchestras that have applied this strict model of merit, the result drastically reduces the disproportionate number of white male musicians. Not that they’re not really good. Just that they are only “the best” when other white men are making that rather arbitrary decision. –Kathleen Allisen

“Trudeau’s new cabinet to focus on green economy and climate change, sources say.” How positively 21st century of you, Prime Minister.


One of the 65 per cent.

Tommy GoFigure

Keep your Opinions sharp and informed. Get the Opinion newsletter. Sign up today.