The Prairie Resilience: Myth and/or Reality?
43 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2019
Date Written: April 1, 2018
In 2016, provinces and territories in Canada, with the exception of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, endorsed the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change (PCF). A year later, Saskatchewan released its climate policy – ‘The Prairie Resilience’, a policy which departs from the carbon pricing centric PCF, and rather centred resilience and innovation as more appropriate policy emphases. In 2018, a new conservative government in Ontario upturned the province’s previous climate policy, in favour of a framework which mirrors the Prairie Resilience. Within a frame of the defined metrics of effectiveness, flexibility, and equitability, this article critically appraises the Prairie resilience vis-à-vis the PCF. It questions the justifiability of Saskatchewan’s contentions, the fairness of its proposed contributions, and more broadly, how the Canadian climate policy can be ‘turnover proofed’. It is argued here that ‘political acceptability’ is critical to the long-term effectiveness of a pan-Canadian climate policy. By disassembling the Prairie resilience, it is concluded that Saskatchewan’s contentions are only defensible in part. Burden sharing, through the adaptation of Europe’s triptych approach and a strict-flexible mode of implementation, are recommended as important first steps to make a pan-Canadian climate policy acceptable to emission intensive provinces like Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Alberta.
Keywords: Climate change, burden sharing, effectiveness, equity, flexibility, turnover, Pan-Canadidan Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, Prairie Resilience
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