Former Progressive Conservative prime minister Kim Campbell says that the Conservatives’ climate strategy falls short.
“They produced a plan that has no targets,” she told Power and Politics host Vassy Kapelos in a recent interview, airing today. “It really is a sop, I think.”
Unveiled by party leader Andrew Scheer last week, the plan would, among other things, compel large carbon emitters to invest in green technology if they emit over a certain limit. It doesn’t clearly state it would achieve Canada’s emissions reduction commitments under the Paris Agreement, nor does it say how much its initiatives would reduce emissions.
Under the global Paris Agreement, Canada committed to reducing emissions 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. The latest data show Canada isn’t going to meet that commitment, although Environment Minister Catherine McKenna insists Canada is on the right track.
Along with her criticism of the Conservative Party plan, Campbell said she has “no time” for climate change deniers.
“It is a serious, serious issue and we need to it to attack it,” she said.
When asked if she still identified as a ‘conservative’, Campbell noted she has never held Conservative Party of Canada membership.
“Well, I’ve never joined the Conservative Party of Canada. I think Joe Clark expressed it that he didn’t leave the party, the party left him,” she said. “It is not the Progressive Conservative Party.”
In 2003, Progressive Conservatives voted to dissolve the party and merge with the Canadian Alliance to form the Conservative Party of Canada.
Campbell was first elected as an MP in 1988, and eventually rose to several prominent roles in Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s cabinet. Campbell succeeded Mulroney in 1993 when he retired from politics.
She had the third-shortest tenure in the country’s top job, lasting from June to November 1993. During that year’s general election, her party went from a 154-seat majority to only two seats. Campbell lost her own seat and resigned as leader a month later.
Since retiring from active politics, she’s held a number of positions. She served as the Canadian consul-general in Los Angeles from 1996 to 2000 and has worked with a number of pro-democracy organizations.
Most recently, she was the founding principal of the University of Alberta’s Peter Lougheed Leadership College from 2014 to 2018, and now chairs an independent advisory board for Supreme Court appointments.
Watch Vassy Kapelos’ conversation with Kim Campbell about women in politics, carbon pricing and U.S. President Donald Trump.