Toronto’s Mike Layton is bringing a motion to city council this week asking for a report on the cost implications of climate change for Toronto and “any legal avenues to pursue compensation for those costs from major greenhouse gas emitters.”
“Just like tobacco companies knew their products caused cancer, but hid that information from the public, major oil companies have known for decades that their products would cause climate change,” the motion reads. “As tobacco companies have been held accountable for the health-care costs associated with smoking, big polluters should have to pay their fair share for building a climate-safe city.”
UCP Leader Jason Kenney took the move as a direct attack on Alberta’s energy industry, publicly posting a four-page letter addressed to Toronto Mayor John Tory on Tuesday.
Hours later, NDP Leader Rachel Notley also condemned Layton’s motion, writing on Twitter that “it’s clear Mike Layton is out of touch with Canada’s economic reality and doesn’t see Alberta’s contributions because he has tunnel vision.”
She added that Layton would be “wise to read the federal budget and see exactly what Alberta contributes to Confederation.”
Layton wrote on Twitter Tuesday that his motion has been “taken out of context,” adding that he’s simply asking for a report on climate-change costs and options for recouping them. A spokesperson from his office said he was not available for an interview Wednesday, as Toronto city council is in an all-day meeting.
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