Economic analysis shows implementing Bill C-288 would plunge Canada into a recession


    OTTAWA, April 19 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable John Baird, Minister of
the Environment today reiterated the Government's commitment to real action on
the environment, but cautioned that with only eight months remaining, Canada
cannot reach its 2008 to 2012 Kyoto targets, as required under Bill C-288,
without intentionally manufacturing an economic recession.
    Minister Baird today tabled a detailed economic impact report called "The
Cost of Bill C-288 to Canadian Families and Business" before the Senate
Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources. The
Government of Canada study - supported by leading, independent Canadian
economists - shows the cost of compliance with Bill C-288 at this time would
result in devastating impacts for Canadian families, jobs and the economy.
    The study forecasts immediate and far-reaching impacts on Canadians and
the economy including:

    - 275,000 Canadians would lose their job by 2009
    - The cost of electricity bills would jump 50% after 2010
    - The cost of filling up a car would jump 60%
    - The cost of heating a home by natural gas would double

    "Canada's New Government is taking action to reduce air pollution and
greenhouse gas emissions by making responsible economic decisions that will
achieve environmental progress," said Minister Baird. "Given that the
opposition parties passed C-288 in the House, Canada's New Government has a
responsibility to Parliament and to the people of Canada to report on the
impact of this Bill's call for strict adherence to Kyoto in light of the
previous government's inaction on the file."
    The study shows that Canada's GDP would decline by over 4.2%. This is
comparable to the deepest recession since World War II, which Canadians faced
in 1981-82. Many still remember the pain of that time.
    "The official opposition wants us to recklessly correct their past
mistakes," said Minister Baird. "Our preference is to pursue a balanced
approach that recognizes the urgent need to act on the environment, while also
respecting our responsibility to keep Canadian families working."
    This study, prepared by the Government of Canada, was validated by Don
Drummond, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist at Toronto Dominion Bank
Financial Group; Jean-Thomas Bernard, Professor, Department of Economics,
Laval University; Mark Jaccard, Professor, School of Resource and
Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University; David Keith, Canada
Research Chair in Energy and the Environment, University of Calgary; and,
Christopher Green, Professor, Department of Economics, McGill University.
    For more information on impacts of meeting Canada's Kyoto Protocol
targets, see the report: "The Cost of Bill C-288 to Canadian Families and
Business" at www.ec.gc.ca

    (Egalement offert en français)



For further information: Eric Richer, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of the Environment, (819) 997-1441; Environment Canada Media
Relations, (819) 934-8008, 1-888-908-8008