Climate change was supposed to be a big issue this election. It wasn’t.
Canada may be known for its cold weather, but this summer, parts of the country were an inferno. The Western provinces suffered , which were a confirmed cause of death for 569 people in British Columbia. burned more than two million forest acres in that province and , while devastated cattle ranchers in Manitoba. The extreme weather intensified Canadians already high level of interest and concern about climate change. But during the campaign, climate barely registered. Analysts say that was because of deft maneuvering by the Conservative Party. , the partys leader, turned his back on a promise to never impose carbon taxes in a plan he unveiled this spring. While the Conservative version prices carbon lower than Mr. Trudeaus plan does, and has a very different system for rebating the tax to individuals, the prime minister can no longer say that the Conservatives will not tax carbon and lack a climate plan. The Conservative plan, introduced well before the election, proposes to cut emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels within nine years, s original Paris Agreement target. But Mr. Trudeau has since increased the nations target for the same time frame . Saying that the Conservatives plan would set the country back on its progress to fight climate change, he invoked the unpopular policies of his predecessor, Stephen Harper, whose administration . The Green Party, which has made climate change its top issue, called for a 60 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2030. Its an ambitious target, but lacking detail, said Nicholas Rivers, a Canada Research Chair in Climate and Energy Policy and an associate professor at the University of Ottawa. The Green Party has been distracted by infighting that has prompted its leader, Annamie Paul, to . The party , late in the brief campaign.