Conservative MP Peter Braid says extreme weather and climate change linked

Kitchener-Waterloo Conservative MP and Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Communities Peter Braid confirmed on CBC's Power and Politics Monday that he believes recent extreme weather is linked to climate change.

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Duration 10:49
Olivia Chow, Peter Braid and David McGuinty debate the need for new infrastructure investments in the wake of powerful winter storms

In what is being considered a first by a member of the federal Conservatives, Kitchener-Waterloo MP Peter Braid stated publicly on CBC News Network’s Power and Politics that recent extreme weather and climate change are connected.

“We are seeing the effects, the impacts of climate change,” Braid told host Evan Solomon on Monday. “With climate change comes extreme weather events. We saw that through the floods in southern Alberta, we’re now seeing that with the ice storms in Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto, with the extreme cold across the country.”

Solomon later asked Braid to confirm he was saying that extreme weather and climate change are related, to which Braid replied, “Absolutely, I’m confirming I said that.”

The statement comes on the same day that two people were arrested in Vancouver after they came within centimetres of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and displayed signs protesting the government’s policies on climate change.

Words do not match actions, say critics

Upon hearing Braid’s statement on Power and Politics, Ottawa South Liberal MP and infrastructure critic David McGuinty said, “This is the first time I hear that kind of overt statement from a member of the government in many, many years.”

In November 2012, Thornhill Conservative MP and former environment minister Peter Kent said climate change is “a very real and present danger” and added that it was “quite clear that we are seeing increased incidents of extreme weather.”

But McGuinty was quick to criticize the Conservatives on their record related to climate change.

“The problem is, of course, the actions of the government don’t actually support those views,” said McGuinty. “They have systematically cut all of the climate change funding for Canadians right across the country in terms of fiscal measures and programming.”

Trinity-Spadina NDP MP and federal transit and infrastructure critic Olivia Chow also pointed out on Power and Politics that the Conservatives is eliminating the green infrastructure fund for cities.