Glen Murray lowers expectations for first ministers' climate meeting

Ontario's environment minister says no one expects a pan-Canadian climate framework to come from the meeting

OTTAWA — Ontario’s environment minister says no one imagines that a highly anticipated meeting next month between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the premiers will conclude a new climate plan for the country.

Trudeau’s promise to convene a first minister’s meeting within 90 days of December’s Paris climate conference set high expectations.

The Liberal election platform said the creation of new national emission reduction targets would be central to his meeting with the provinces and territories.

But Ontario environment and climate minister Glen Murray says no one expects a pan-Canadian climate framework to emerge from the next meeting, because months of background work by officials was just recently set in motion when provincial ministers met their federal counterpart, Catherine McKenna.

Murray says that after 10 years without a federal partner, the consensus among all the environment ministers is to get their various climate policies sorted out and co-ordinated with federal actions before setting any new national targets.

The Prime Minister’s Office’s has confirmed Trudeau will attend a clean-tech business conference in Vancouver March 2-4, setting the stage for the first ministers to meet in the city later that week.

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