Hon. Andrew Cardozo: My question is for the Government Representative in the Senate.
Climate change is causing frequent and intense extreme weather events as well as increasing temperatures. The most recent examples are the resulting emergencies we experienced this past year with wildfires and flooding.
As the debate on climate change gallops along, we tend to lose sight of where we started and where we started this discussion. I want to go back to first principles as a starting point, primarily for Canadians who are watching us. What are the most serious climate change issues, and what are governments in Canada and elsewhere doing about them? What do we need to be doing as a society?
Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for the question. Although I’m always happy to answer questions, there are so many more people in this country who live it on a day-to-day basis or have the expertise to answer that question properly.
I can’t tell you what all levels of governments are doing. Each province has its own approach, and properly so, as do municipalities and individual industries. This government has a suite of measures, a comprehensive climate plan which is designed to address the climate crisis while still providing support for Canadians who need it, and it is doing so in a sustainable and responsible way.
Senator Cardozo: My supplementary question is regarding mitigation. The Transport and Communications Committee is looking at the effects of climate change on transportation infrastructure across the country. What are your thoughts on the most important mitigation needs that we should be dealing with as a country?
Senator Gold: Thank you. I wish I had the solutions. One thing is clear: Canadians have to understand, as governments do at all levels — federal, provincial and municipal — that we are in the stage of having to mitigate the impact.
Climate change is upon us; the impact is clear. Whatever we do in the future to address climate change has to include mitigating the current and foreseeable impacts of it.