Dear Gerald Keddy, M.P.,
My income consists totally of pension payments, and has always been modest. But I fully expect that if Canada is to deal adequately with its environmental problems the action will cost me at least a thousand dollars per year. And if Canada does not deal adequately with those problems, it will cost me several thousand per year – and my grandson will lose even more in his lifetime. So I expect to pay, while there still is time. And I expect that, in all fairness, the wealthy, who have benefited more than I from our misuse of the environment, will bear even more of the burden. And many of the large corporations will also have to suffer. Let us not pretend that there will be no dislocations in our economy.
We can expect flooding – as well as other catastrophes. Every harbour, every seaport town, every beach, every flood plain will suffer extensive rearrangement. Some changes may be beneficial, but the transition will be painful and costly. The whole nation will bear the burden, and unless we take drastic steps, will suffer unevenly. As in New Orleans, the poor, who can least afford it, will suffer most. The wealthy already tend to live on the hills, so are relatively immune from the worst disasters.
We cannot wait 50 years. We cannot wait 5 years. We must take action in 2007, so as to get results in 2008. The question is not whether we can afford to take drastic action. We cannot afford not to take such action. What we need is not a toothless bill, such as the original C-30, but one that will result in the use of alternate sources of power and in penalties for corporations that pollute. Let’s have a carbon tax, or the equivalent. Restore subsidies for installation of solar panels and windmills on private homes, apartment buildings and businesses. Governments must tighten controls on new buildings to make sure they are energy efficient, and prohibit building on flood plains.
Freely debate the amendments proposed by the opposition parties; allow adequate time for debate, and do it as soon as possible. Accept proposals for change, and do not play politics with this issue. There is no time for games or blaming. Come to agreement quickly so that we can get moving and be prepared for the future. Let it not be said that we did too little and that we did it too late.
Yours for a bright future. Yours for A future!!