Why has Canada been unable to achieve any of its climate change targets? Part of the reason is that emissions in two provinces, Alberta and Saskatchewan, have been steadily increasing as a result of expanding oil and gas production. Declining emissions in other provinces, such as Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, have been cancelled out by those western increases. The ultimate explanation for Canadian failure lies in the differing energy interests of the western and eastern provinces.
How can Ottawa possibly get all the provinces moving in the same direction of decreasing emissions? To answer this question, Douglas Macdonald explores the five attempts to date to put in place co-ordinated national policy in the fields of energy and climate change – from Pierre Trudeau’s ill-fated National Energy Program to Justin Trudeau’s bitterly contested Pan-Canadian program – analyzing and comparing them for the first time.