The Conservatives are calling Justin Trudeau a “carbon hypocrite” for flying two planes during the 40-day election campaign, emitting double the carbon emissions of other campaigns.
The Conservatives issued a news release — including travel logs and photographs of the two planes — during the French language debate hosted by TVA.
“Despite marching in climate strikes, lecturing everybody else on lowering emissions and imposing a carbon tax on hard-working Canadians, Justin Trudeau and the Liberals are secretly using two aircraft to campaign in this election,” the release says.
The Liberals issued their own release in response, accusing Scheer of being “desperate to deflect from the fact that Conservatives have no plan for the environment.”
In a news conference after the Montreal debate, Trudeau confirmed the Liberal Party is using a cargo plane as well as a regular plane, as it did in the 2015 campaign.
“It allows us to do more events in more parts of the country and meet more Canadians,” he said. “It’s an important part of our national campaign to meet as many people as possible.”
Trudeau said the Liberals will purchase carbon offsets for all of the campaign transportation on planes and buses.
“I will highlight that Andrew Scheer and his Conservatives did not purchase carbon offsets for their transportation because they think pollution should be free,” he said.
Scheer said he couldn’t understand why the Liberals needed two planes, since the single Conservative aircraft has ample space for luggage and equipment.
“I don’t know what types of props or costumes or camping equipment he’s bringing along, but he’s made his choice. If he thinks it’s okay to emit far more emissions than our campaign is emitting, we’re going to hold him to account for his hypocrisy,” he said.
“It’s always the same with this guy. He’s always very quick at giving lessons and lectures and sermons about how everyone else should live their lives, but when it comes to his own personal behaviour, he’s a complete hypocrite.”
A Conservative party spokesman, Simon Jefferies, said in an email to CBC News the Conservatives are not purchasing carbon offsets for their plane.