Canada's NDP

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October 14th, 2022

The Liberals are blaming people for where they live, instead of fighting the climate emergency

NDP Emergency Preparedness Critic Richard Cannings made the following statement,

“Canadians are living with the deadly and catastrophic impacts of the climate crisis. More frequent and extreme weather events are costing people their livelihoods and destroying infrastructure. Just a few weeks ago, Hurricane Fiona left hundreds of thousands of residents in Atlantic Canada and eastern Quebec without power. Entire homes were destroyed, and lives were lost.

Instead of helping communities prepare and tackle the effects of the climate emergency, the Liberal government is taking a different approach. Yesterday, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, told people in communities more prone to natural disasters that they should just move. That’s his solution. It is completely inappropriate for the Liberal minister to ask people to leave their families, their jobs and their homes because he doesn’t want to put in the work to plan and deliver on disaster supports.

Canadians are being forced to make tough decisions, and they expect their government to help them in times of crisis – but the Minister’s recent comments show that he’s not willing to do this. His comments also come as families in the Atlantic Provinces and eastern Quebec who haven’t been able to work because of the destruction from hurricane Fiona still haven’t received any income support. It’s clear investments for climate-adapted infrastructure that allow communities to survive these catastrophes should have been made long ago.

Rather than giving billions of dollars in subsidies to big oil and gas corporations that exacerbate the climate crisis and don't pay their fair share, the Liberals should focus on helping communities that face extreme weather events instead of telling them to pick up their lives and move.

New Democrats know that all communities across Canada are becoming more prone to catastrophic disasters, and people deserve support. We will keep fighting for families and communities and will continue pressuring the Liberals to provide every community with needed climate adaptation support. In the coming months and years, families and municipalities will be forced to make difficult and painful decisions about the future of their communities, and they will need strong support from the federal government.