Forget playing with stickers. We need a grown-up discussion about climate change

The Conservation Council’s Executive Director, Lois Corbett, issued the following statement with respect to Premier Blaine Higgs’ scheme to use citizens’ money for gas pump stickers containing misleading information about federal carbon tax.

Flooding along the Wolastoq (St. John) River in Fredericton in April 2019. Photo: James West for the Conservation Council

 “It is very concerning to me. It seems highly politically motivated and runs up against his pledge to have open, honest and accountable government. An honest sticker would include vital information about the rebate N.B. citizens and small business owners receive, and information about the impact of climate change and air pollution to New Brunswickers’ health and safety.

Many of our citizens living along the banks of the Wolastoq (St. John) River are once again dealing with the aftermath, loss, and hardship of two 100-year-floods in a row. The Premier himself in April of this year said that climate change is changing flooding frequencing and that “things aren’t going to change.” So we must.

Also in April, federal government scientists released the Canada’s Changing Climate report, which showed Canada is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world, bringing devastating consequences to New Brunswick’s coastal communities, our air quality in the summer, and to the health of our most vulnerable citizens, particular the very young and elderly New Brunswickers.

Instead of helping New Brunswickers prepare for the increasingly severe effects of climate change — by letting them know about programs such as the Climate Action Incentive, new federal programs to help citizens and small businesses reduce their carbon pollution footprint, or even our own public utility’s programs, incentives and rebates of the same nature — we are getting from our provincial government misleading stickers containing cherry-picked information and half truths.”

The sticker plan is modelled on one introduced by Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford announced in April.

Corbett adds, “while there may be many great ideas the Premier could pick up from Ontario leaders, like flood-proofing your home and replanting forests and coastline after severe ice storms, choosing Ford’s bully pulpit ideas may not be the wisest choice.”

Media contact:

Jon MacNeill, Communications Director, Conservation Council of New Brunswick: 458-8747 (office); 238-3539 (mobile); jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca