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Trudeau defends his carbon pricing at the opening of the Canada-EU summit

Paul Daly The Canadian Press “The fact that Canada has a price on pollution ensures that we will be able to to trade fairly and openly, and not at a disadvantage with countries around the world like those in the European Union, who are actually taking action to fight climate change,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Carbon pricing was discussed on Thursday, on the first day of a summit between European leaders and the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, a few weeks after the opening of a breach in Canadian policy on the subject. /p>

In a speech delivered at the opening of a welcome reception for dignitaries in St. John's, Newfoundland, Mr. Trudeau defended his environmental policy presented as a centerpiece of Canada's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“The fact that Canada has a price on pollution ensures that we will be able to trade fairly and openly, and not at a disadvantage with countries around the world like those in the European Union, which act really to fight climate change,” he said.

He sent the message that Canada and the European Union (EU) are preparing the ground for major agreements under the Green Deal on which Europe is working.

But first, Mr. Trudeau formally confirmed that Ottawa is joining a $100 billion European scientific research program, Horizon Europe.

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, insisted on his personal ties with the Canadian Prime Minister, recalling that they negotiated together the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a free trade agreement, when he was at the head of the Belgian government.

“I remember that in reality I spent part of my nights with Justin Trudeau because of the time difference,” he recalled out loud. He presented CETA as a success in terms of trade.

“We want to succeed in the climate transition together, achieve this balance between achieving prosperity, improving living conditions while ensuring that we respect our environment [and] nature,” continued the European leader.

Mr. Trudeau touted his choice of location for the two-day summit, Newfoundland and Labrador, tossing flowers to Newfoundlanders whom he considers among the most welcoming Canadians.

“It makes a bit of sense to gather at friends' houses,” said the Prime Minister in front of a packed room of dignitaries gathered in a local brasserie.

The audience of guests, bringing together entrepreneurs and politicians , was warmed up by two musicians performing on stage, with traditional pieces and warm melodies.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told guests a personal story that ties her to Newfoundland and Labrador.

She said that on the day of the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 in the United States, she was reassured to learn that her husband had been placed safely and hospitably received in a small Newfoundland community.

Ms. Von der Leyen is scheduled to meet Friday with Charles Michel and Justin Trudeau during an official three-way working meeting.

Entrepreneurs present

Thursday, Canadian business leaders were present to try to do well.

One of them, Vasileios Tsianos, told The Canadian Press that he would like to hear leaders reaffirm “the commitment of both Canada and the European Union to the development of transatlantic supply chains for critical minerals […] [and] the electric vehicle manufacturing sector.”

He who is director of corporate development for Neomaterials, a Toronto company, mentioned a partnership whose foundations are already in the works. being thrown away in Estonia.

Gurjant Randhawa, president and CEO of Cipher Neutron, another company in the Queen City, also shared his enthusiasm for the event.

He hopes that the discussions will lead to private sector financing that goes beyond programs amounting to matching funds.

“We need more than that,” summed up the one who works in the field hydrogen.

Environment and carbon pricing

The fight against climate change and global carbon pricing are definitely on the agenda during from the top.

Last month, the Trudeau government announced that it was making a temporary breach in its flagship carbon pricing policy.

The breach granted by Justin Trudeau to Canadians is, more precisely, a three-year reprieve carbon tax for homeowners who rely on an oil heating system. The Liberals are also providing funding to help people switch to electric heating.

Canadians most affected by the temporary exemption are those living in Atlantic Canada.

The director of research for the energy policy organization Net Zero Altantic, Sven Scholtysik, plans to closely monitor the commitments that Canada and Europe could reaffirm towards a thriving hydrogen partnership.

“I would pay attention to a good focal point on Atlantic Canada presenting itself as a region and as the region closest to Germany,” he said in an interview.

Mr. Trudeau signed a hydrogen agreement last year with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

In the Maritimes, a project led by EverWind Fuels has already passed the environmental assessment stage in New Scotland. Another initiative, this one from World Energy GH2, is in the final stages of a similar process in Newfoundland and Labrador.

In the case of these two companies, production is expected begin in the coming years.

“Much needs to happen in order to [align with] these deadlines, and I am happy that this discussion is continuing at the political level. “It's something that requires continued focus to make it realistic,” Scholtysik believes.

Wars in Ukraine and the Middle East

During the Canada-EU summit, everything indicates that European leaders will take the opportunity to reaffirm their desire to reduce dependence on Russia for energy.

Discussions have been underway with Ottawa for months on the possibilities offered by the export of liquefied natural gas. The lack of infrastructure connecting Canada to Europe is one of the challenges, recalled the EU representatives.

More generally, the war in Ukraine and its multiple repercussions should be at the top of the list of priorities during the summit.

Already, MM. Michel and Trudeau stressed their support for the Ukrainians.

The EU also expects the outbreak of violence in the Middle East to largely dominate discussions between allies.

Upon his arrival in Newfoundland in the afternoon, Mr. Trudeau met with students from a trade school located in an industrial neighborhood of Mount Pearl, which is about eight kilometers southwest of Saint-Jean.

About fifteen apprentices who are training as pipefitters showed the Prime Minister, using tools, what they are learning in their course.< /p>

With information from Sarah Smellie

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116