From the Fraser Institute
For decades, nutrition advocates have exhorted Canadians to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Canada’s Food Guide suggests that half of our meals should be fruits and veggies. Why then does the Trudeau government plan to increase fruit and vegetable waste—and increase their costs?
It’s all about the government’s war on plastics, specifically its agenda to eliminate plastic waste by 2030. Having already banned single-use plastic items such as drinking straws, stir sticks and plastic cutlery, the government plans to target plastic food packaging. And that’s going to hit consumers in the pocket.
According to a new study from the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), under the new reduced-plastic packaging regime, food loss and waste will potentially increase 495,000 tonnes above current levels, incurring financial losses valued at $3.4 billion. These losses, at least in significant part, will ultimately be passed onto consumers. In a report by CTV, reporter Kevin Gallagher suggests that increased costs to consumers might reach 30 per cent.
The study authors suggest this estimate should be considered conservative, because it does not include the potential for single-use plastic bans causing a “complete disruption to some sectors of the fresh produce industry, and the anticipated 17.5 per cent increase in operating costs voiced by respondents that industry would incur.” And 17.5 per cent is the median—cost increases ranged from 11 per cent to 25 per cent. Assuming these increased costs are passed onto consumers, Canadians will see the price of fruits and veggies take yet another jump.
And for what reason? The Trudeau government has foolishly committed Canada to a “Zero Plastic Waste by 2030” crusade. But as I showed in a 2022 study published by the Fraser Institute, Canada does not have a significant plastic waste problem. Less than 1 per cent of plastics used in Canada end up as waste in the environment, and 99 per cent is safely buried in landfills, recycled or incinerated. Canada does not contribute a measurable part of the world’s plastic pollution.
And the government’s own analysis suggests that pursuing this war on plastics will ultimately lead to greater waste of alternative materials, which is already raising concerns among the environmentally-minded. In a separate CTV report Melanie Nagy quotes Nicole Rycroft, founder of Canopy, a forest conservation NGO, who said we should “shift away from using plastics as much as we do, but trading in plastic pollution for deforestation and forest degradation is not the answer” and we must “make sure we do not create another environmental disaster.” Rycroft added that “more than three billion trees—many of which are old-growth and endangered—are logged every year to make paper-based products like bags, straws and food containers.”
The Trudeau government’s zero plastic waste crusade was unsound policy from inception, and its own analysis showed the plan’s costs would outstrip its benefits and that it would create more waste, not less. And that most of that increased waste would come from increased consumption of wood and paper products.
Now, the government plans to ratchet up this harmful program, raising already painfully expensive produce in Canada to more painful levels. Ottawa must halt its “Zero Plastic Waste” agenda and take the entire concept back to the drawing board. It’s simply bad policy—bad for Canadian families, bad for our food sector, and as the Canopy tree people observe, bad for the environment.
Premier Smith reacts to Liberal Government’s announcement on new methane reduction targets at COP 28
Federal methane emissions targets: Joint statement
“Once again, the federal government is setting unrealistic targets and timelines. Infrastructure can only be updated as quickly as technology allows. For example, Alberta will not accept nor impose a total ban on flaring at this time, as it is a critical health and safety practice during production. Any regulation that completely prohibits this is putting lives at risk”
Premier Danielle Smith and Minister of Environment and Protected Areas Rebecca Schulz issued the following statement on the federal government’s proposed methane emissions regulations:
“The federal government has unilaterally established new methane emissions rules and targets to help win international headlines. Instead of building on Alberta’s award-winning approach, Ottawa wants to replace it with costly, dangerous and unconstitutional new federal regulations that won’t benefit anyone beyond Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault’s post-office career.
“Managing emissions from Alberta’s oil and gas industry is our constitutional right and responsibility, not Ottawa’s, and we are getting the job done. Using a province-led approach, Alberta has already reduced methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 45 per cent – hitting our target three years early – and we’re just getting started.
“Meanwhile, not only is it illegal for Ottawa to attempt to regulate our industries in this manner, Ottawa also hasn’t even hit one of its past arbitrary and unscientific emissions targets largely because it has little to no credible expertise regulating the natural resource, agricultural and other industry sectors in this space.
“Ottawa could have helped us keep reducing emissions with joint incentive programs in line with Alberta’s Emissions Reduction and Energy Development Plan. It could have listened to the Supreme Court’s declaration that the Impact Assessment Act was unconstitutional and abandoned this kind of arrogant and ineffective scheme. Instead, these new regulations threaten our successful province-led approach and impede good work that’s already underway.
“Once again, the federal government is setting unrealistic targets and timelines. Infrastructure can only be updated as quickly as technology allows. For example, Alberta will not accept nor impose a total ban on flaring at this time, as it is a critical health and safety practice during production. Any regulation that completely prohibits this is putting lives at risk. A total ban would also be costly, resulting in shut-ins and loss of production.
“This approach will also cost tens of billions in infrastructure upgrades, yet Ottawa has provided virtually no financial support to do so. Thousands of Albertans could be put out of work in the coming years due to these costly regulations. A federal government willing to invest $37.7 billion into just three battery plants in Ontario and Quebec cannot credibly refuse to provide tax credits and financial incentives for producers in Alberta and Saskatchewan to assist with achieving a carbon-neutral economy by 2050.
“For years, Alberta, not Ottawa, has done the hard work and achieved results. We strongly support reducing methane emissions and have invested tens of millions into developing these technologies. Minister Guilbeault must work with us, and not against us, to keep cutting methane emissions and charting a course for carbon neutrality by 2050.
“Given the unconstitutional nature of this latest federal intrusion into our provincial jurisdiction, our government will use every tool at our disposal to ensure these absurd federal regulations are never implemented in our province.”
Alberta’s Methane Target Reached Early
Gas processing plant in northwest Alberta, courtesy of EnergyNow
Courtesy of ENERGYminute
See more articles and infographics from ENERGYminute HERE
In a pat-yourself-on-the-back moment, Alberta’s oil and gas industry successfully achieved a 45 percent reduction in methane emissions, surpassing the province’s mandated target ahead of schedule.
Background: Alberta was the first province in Canada to commit to a 45 percent reduction in methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 2025, based on 2014 levels. Spoiler alert: Alberta achieved its methane mission three years early.
- Their targeted approach to reducing methane emissions from flaring, venting and fugitives has become an example globally, earning national and international awards for its effectiveness and cost-efficiency.
Alberta strong: The government credited the early success to close collaboration with the industry, implementing early action programs such as carbon offsets, tough regulations for all facilities, and enhanced leak detection and repair methods.
Minister of Environment Rebecca Schulz highlighted that this made-in-Alberta approach not only achieved the goal three years ahead of schedule but also resulted in roughly $600 million in savings for the industry compared to the proposed federal program.
Getting the job done: Alberta allocated $57 million from the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction fund for methane emissions programs, including:
- $25 million in rebates to companies adopting emissions reduction equipment.
- $17 million supporting alternatives to detecting and quantifying emissions.
- $15 million to help small- and medium-sized operators assess methane reduction opportunities.
Overall, the initiatives eliminated 16.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent from the atmosphere.
Looking ahead: Alberta is committed to building on this momentum and collaborating with industry experts to determine the next steps in their emissions reduction journey, aligning with the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.
Pfizer documents challenge Health Canada COVID-19 vaccine narrative
Trudeau signs partnership with EU to promote digital IDs, counter ‘disinformation’
Trudeau gov’t appears to back down on ‘digital services tax’ plans
Christian attorney sues Law Society of Alberta for mandating left-wing trainings
Bruce Dowbiggin1 day ago
Could AI Make Yesterday Into Today For Culture, Sports & Politics?
Health1 day ago
Canadian medical college suggests doctors prioritize ‘social justice’ over ‘expertise’
Community1 day ago
Conservative MP Leslyn Lewis condemns MAiD in Parliament as targeting nation’s most vulnerable
Alberta1 day ago
City of Edmonton has a spending problem
Business1 day ago
Indigenous loan program must include oil and gas
Business1 day ago
Budget update proves Trudeau isn’t serious about federal finances
Canadian Energy Centre1 day ago
Reality check: Global emissions from coal plants
Brownstone Institute1 day ago
Witnessing the Media’s Covid Coverage from the Inside