Source: Facebook

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has been spreading a false claim that Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre wants to allow polluters to dump toxic waste into Canadian waters.

Singh uttered the claim on multiple occasions last week, insisting to Canadians that Poilievre “thinks it’s okay to dump toxic waste into rivers.”

The NDP leader first made the erroneous statement while speaking to reporters at the 2024 Progress Summit. The conference is run by the Broadbent Institute, which has close ties to the federal NDP. 

“(He) has spent a lot of time making it very clear that Pierre Poilievre’s approach is to have no climate plan and really his plan is to let big polluters dump toxic waste into our rivers without any regulations,” said Singh on Apr. 11.

“That’s what’s going to happen, cloud our air, pollute the land and I think that is absolutely wrong.” 

A few days later, on Apr. 15, Singh repeated the claim during a press conference outside the House of Commons. 

“What we’re concerned about is that Pierre Poilievre has absolutely no plan. He thinks it’s okay to dump toxic waste into rivers, he wants big polluters to do whatever the want. He wants no rules for big polluters, that is a serious problem,” claimed Singh.

True North reached out to the NDP to request comment and ask what evidence Singh had to back up his statement but did not receive a response from the party. 

Although Poilievre has been adamantly opposed to the Liberal government’s approach on climate, including by recently campaigning to scrap the federal carbon tax, the Conservative leader has never proposed that polluters should be free to dump toxic waste into Canadian waters. 

Poilievre also wants to repeal the Impact Assessment Act, which further regulates which energy developments can receive approval in Canada. 

While speaking to the Association of Mineral Exploration last year, Poilievre said that his government would reduce emissions without carbon taxing via technology like carbon capture. 

“I believe the answer is to lower the cost of carbon-free alternatives, by speeding up approvals for electric dams, for car battery mineral production and carbon capture and storage and nuclear,” said Poilievre. 

“But what we say, very clearly, is that we need technology rather than taxes in order to fight climate change, and that includes carbon capture, nuclear or hydro dams. I will unleash the production of more clean, green carbon-free energy by removing gatekeepers, cutting red tape, and incentivizing through financial instruments.”

In an email to True North, Conservative spokesperson Sebastian Skamski pointed to the fact that the Liberals and NDP, in fact, voted to kill a bill introduced by the Conservatives in 2021 that proposed to prohibit the dumping of toxic sewage into Canadian waters. 

Bill C-269 was introduced by Conservative MP Andrew Scheer.

“After nine years of Trudeau, all the NDP-Liberal government has is a tax plan that has raised the cost of gas, groceries, and home heating for Canadians, all the while failing to meet a single solitary climate target,” said Skamski. 

“Common sense Conservatives introduced and championed legislation to prevent toxic waste from being poured into our waterways and both the NDP and Liberals voted to kill it. Meanwhile, Trudeau jetsets around the world on lavish vacations with his billionaire friends, burning up thousands of litres of jet fuel.”