Canada faces unique challenges in addressing climate change. It is a large, sparsely populated country with a relatively cold climate. It has some provinces that depend on fossil fuel resources for a significant part of their economies. It has fragmented authority (federal, provincial, indigenous) over land and environmental policy. Despite this, there are a number of municipal, provincial, and federal efforts underway to address climate change and Canada has a relatively aggressive commitment as part of the global Paris Agreement on climate change.


In this argumentative essay, you will examine climate change politics from one of 5 perspectives:

United Nations

Federal Government

First Nations

Provincial Government

Municipal Government


You will develop an argument around one of the following questions that are top of the agenda in Canada, from the perspective you’ve chosen:


Should the Canadian federal government pursue building the Transmountain Pipeline Expansion?

Should the Canadian federal government impose a national carbon tax?

Should Canadian cities pursue aggressive climate action?

Should Canadian provinces develop their own carbon pricing policies?


In other words, you will answer one of these questions and develop arguments from your perspective: e.g. The United Nations would argue that no, Canada should not pursue building the Transmountain Pipeline.



In the research and writing process you will:


Investigate and summarize the current state of the question you are examining (Transmountain, national carbon tax, municipal action (pick a city), provincial carbon pricing (pick a province). For this descriptive part of the research, you need to answer the ‘what’ question: What is going on?

This will require that you do research with media sources and government documents/websites that describe what is happening for your issue.


You will formulate an argument that answers the one of the questions, but goes beyond a simple yes or no to develop the answer to the more important why question: Why should/not the federal government pursue building the Transmountain Pipeline Expansion? In other words, you will identify the reasons why your answer to the question is valid.

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