Mackenzie Scrimshaw (iPolitics):
Stephen Harper says there are two issues central to the current election campaign — and climate change isn’t one them.
At the end of a week during which the world was mesmerized by the refugee crisis overwhelming Europe and U.S. President Barack Obama made a historic climate change-themed three-day visit to Alaska, the prime minister cited the economy and security Friday as the “major issues” in Canada’s election campaign.
The Conservative leader spoke on Friday morning in Whitehorse, where he made a pair of announcements targeting the territory’s conservation efforts by way of boosting the hunting tourism industry.
“A re-elected Conservative government will commit new funds to promote tourism in these specific sectors,” he said.
“I’m also pleased to announce that a re-elected Conservative government will create a specific wildlife conservation and enhancement program for that industry,” he said. “This program will fund community projects to improve habitat for species that are harvested by hunters and trappers, such as moose, deer, wild turkey, migratory birds.”
When Harper took questions from the media, CTV’s Richard Madan asked the prime minister why he hasn’t addressed climate change in his previous campaign speeches.
“I believe that the two major issues in this campaign are the economy and security,” Harper said.
“In terms of climate change policy, this government has been very clear — we’ve set a target of 30 per cent over 2005 levels by 2030,” he said. “We’re the first government in Canadian history to actually see emissions reductions in the country, and we’re headed towards the Paris conference.”
“So I think our position’s well known and obviously this is going to be the subject ultimately not of a decision by the government of Canada, but by the decision of the international community in December, and I’m optimistic that that is headed in the right direction.”