Canadian Economy Can Handle Emission Plan, Flaherty Says
TORONTO -- The Canadian economy will be able to handle any impact of the Conservative government's plan to cut emissions by 20 percent by 2020, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Thursday.
After a 30-minute speech in Toronto to the Canada-India Business Council, Flaherty told reporters the economic effects of the new measures would be significant but manageable.
"I'm quite comfortable from an economic point of view that we can manage the impact on the economy of these environmental measures," Flaherty said.
"The environmental initiatives take place over a number of years. The Canadian economy is strong ... so I'm comfortable that our economy can manage this well going forward."
The government said earlier Thursday the measures could cost as much as 0.5 percent of gross domestic product a year, or up to C$7 billion-C$8 billion ($6.25 billion-$7.1 billion).
Flaherty, who said the measures were necessary to make progress in the fight to curb air pollution, does not expect to revise his economic growth estimates because of the plan to cut emissions.
The proposals outlined by the Conservative government would implement hard caps on the pollutants that cause acid rain and smog.
It will set greenhouse gas emissions targets for industrial sectors like power generation, forestry, metals and some types of mining, cement and chemicals, and the important energy sector, including the oil sands of northern Alberta.