During an appearance on CPAC's Prime Time Politics, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault discussed the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as well as Canada's climate plan, saying that other crises may come and go, but climate change will always remain.
Guilbeault said that it was vital that provinces not reduce gas taxes and prices, saying that it was counterproductive to the goals of the government's plant to tackle the climate crisis.
Guilbeault said he does not support provincial governments cutting gas taxes, saying that it undermines the role and intent of higher carbon pricing.
"It goes against our efforts to fight climate change," said Guilbeault to host Peter Van Dusen.
"We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that we've gone through a pandemic, there's a terrible crisis happening in Ukraine, we're seeing inflation. But all of these crises will go, and climate change will still be there, and climate change is killing people in Canada," said Guilbeault, who said that 700 deaths in BC last year were because of "heat domes."
He said that he wanted governments to not reduce gas taxes and said that there were "other things" that provinces could do to help those facing inflation.
"They're just going for the easy solution, and probably one that is short-term in terms of political popularity," he said.
Guilbeault recently told left-wing outlet The Narwhal that he hoped to see Canada's fossil fuel industry phased out within two years.
"So in the next two years," said Guilbeault, "more stringent methane regulations, zero-emission vehicle standards, net-zero grid by 2035, cap on oil and gas and obviously phasing out fossil fuels. All of these things must be in place in the coming eighteen months."
"I mean, maybe 2024, but that’s the type of time frame we have to work with and it’s going to be tough because on the one hand some people are going to criticize us for not giving them enough time to be consulted, but the state of climate change is such that we need to learn to do things faster and that’s certainly true of us as a government," Guilbeault continued.
"As a minority government it would be optimistic to think we have more than two years," he said as a reason to phase out the fossil fuel industry in that time.