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The 2001 "Canada Action Plan" Crystal Ball Check

19 Jun 2019 | Crystal Ball, Most Watched

The “Canada Action Plan” Crystal Ball Check


John Robson

I’m John Robson, and welcome to the Climate Discussion Nexus Crystal Ball Check.


The global warming issue depends heavily on computer model forecasts about climate problems that greenhouse gas emissions will supposedly cause decades from now. But it turns out that climate experts and government officials have been making these kinds of forecasts for a long time, warning about things that, by now, should already have happened, if their models are as accurate as they claim.


And I think it’s time we checked how good their crystal ball turned out to be. Before we put any trust in their new forecasts, we’re entitled to see how good the old ones were.

For our first trip back to the future, we want to look at this 2001 pamphlet, which the Government of Canada mailed out to people across the country to build support for their costly new climate policy plans two decades ago.

“The Earth is getting warmer … We are changing our climate” the pamphlet warned.

It swept aside any uncertainties and insisted that we are the cause, it’s going to be harmful, and we need to take action now (that is, in 2001) to stop it from happening.


The pamphlet went on to list the following predictions:

  • Canadian cities will experience longer and more intense heat waves
  • These heat waves will make air pollution get worse
  • Sea levels on the northern coast of British Columbia will rise by up to 30 cm by 2050
  • Crop yields on the prairies will start declining due to increased droughts
  • There will be more frequent forest fires
  • And water levels in the St Lawrence Seaway will fall by up to 1.25 meters this century


Now those warnings sound pretty familiar. We’re hearing them today. But it’s been almost 20 years since the Canadian government declared the debate over and made those predictions in that pamphlet. Let’s see if any of them came true.

More Heat Waves:

Environment Canada’s long term temperature archive for every city in Canada can be seen online at YourEnvironment.ca. Toronto’s records go back to 1840. Summertime daily highs have barely changed over the past hundred years.

Now here are the monthly average daytime highs for June, July and August, the hot months, since 1990. There’s simply no evidence of longer or more intense heatwaves over the past few decades. Use the site to check out other large urban areas in Canada yourself – good luck finding anywhere that shows a trend of longer and more intense summertime high temperatures.

More Air Pollution:


Environment Canada maintains air pollution records for most major Canadian cities back to the early 1970s. In 2017 the Fraser Institute took the data and produced this report. It clearly shows that, instead of going up, heat-related pollution levels have been steady or declining in major urban areas for at least the past 20 years.

So far on the government’s predictions, we’re zero for two.

Rising BC Sea Levels


Global tide gauge data is maintained by the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level in Liverpool, England, and it too is all available online. According to the Government’s 2001 pamphlet, sea levels along the northern BC coast should be going up by about 6 cm per decade due to climate change. Northern BC coastal sea levels have been measured at Prince Rupert since 1925. And in fact water levels rose up to the mid-1970s, but since then they haven’t changed much at all. And a little farther north in Ketchikan Alaska, they’re actually going down.

This graph compares what the government forecast and what has actually been observed since the early 1990s. Another wrong prediction.

Falling Prairie Crop Yields


Is prairie grain production declining due to drought, or anything else? Statistics Canada has measured annual prairie crop yields since 1908. Since the government published its prediction of falling grain yields, total wheat and canola production on the prairies has soared by over 60%, while spring wheat production per hectare is up about 66%. Another failed prediction.

More Forest Fires


The National Forestry Database, again operated by the Canadian government, provides estimates of the number of forest fires every year. The national record goes back to 1970. And the number of forest fires in Canada since 2001, when the pamphlet was published, has actually been going down slightly, not up, as the government’s model forecast.

Declining St. Lawrence Water Levels


The government predicted that St Lawrence River water levels would fall so quickly they should be down by about 25 cm by now. The Water Survey of Canada is a government agency that monitors water flow and levels in all major Canadian river systems. Their data collection is easily accessible online.

Here’s the monthly average data for the St Lawrence from the monitoring station near Cornwall Ontario, going back to when the seaway opened in 1959. And here’s a chart of the data up close since 2000, comparing actual St Lawrence levels to the government’s predicted rate of decline. As you can see, the level changes a little from year to year, but it isn’t declining the way the government forecast.


So that’s zero out of six predictions right. That’s like striking out twice in one at-bat. Their forecasting model did far worse than random guessing would have.

It would be bad enough if they made all these mistakes while admitting that the science is uncertain and needs to be debated, and that climate is complex. But they were doing the opposite.

Already two decades ago they had shut down the idea of a debate and insisted that the science was settled. But the science that produced these forecasts was hopelessly inaccurate. The government used worthless computer projections to engage in fearmongering aimed at silencing critics and intimidating Canadians into supporting a costly policy agenda.


So you don’t have to take at face value any of the government’s current forecasts about the supposed dangers of climate change until they can explain why so many of their past predictions were wrong.

14 comments on “The 2001 "Canada Action Plan" Crystal Ball Check”

  1. This video and transcript provide an excellent compilation of climate alarmist predictions that are negated by factual government records. The government websites indicated in the transcript clearly present the data. If only our climate emergency politicians would see this.

  2. In December 1990 the talk was all about Y2K. One hundred percent of the Computer Scientists predicted a collapse of the computer systems throughout the world. Hospitals, large office towers, airports, and other important infrastructure installed diesel power generators. Nothing happened which proved that 100% of the scientists wrong.

  3. So there is obviously an agenda here that we are not supposed to be aware of and are being deliberately conned into paying for. Welcome to someones vision of one world government, I wonder what else the UN has been up to lately!

  4. Just this morning a TWC meteorologist said that he was not politicizing climate change, so it's more than just I sending in outraged emails when they go off on tangents, but the extreme heat in some U.S. cities was a clear sign that climate change was having an effect. Are all meteorologists dishonest, following an agenda, afraid for their jobs, stupid? Is it the MAD complex all reading from the same playlist? How can so many people be this intellectually and ethically dishonest?

  5. As Yogi Berra once said, "It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future." Not sure why humans continue to believe in such nonsense. Great video. Keep up the good work!

  6. Here's what Cheryl Gallant had to say in the House of Commons.
    Monday March 9th, 12:45 p.m.
    Business of Supply
    Madam Speaker, I am really pleased that my colleague from New
    Westminster—Burnaby drew attention to the fact that insurance companies are
    now using climate change as a reason to increase premiums. In fact, they are
    going to capitalize off that.
    My question pertains to a subject that my colleague from Malpeque and I were
    discussing in Toronto at the PDAC meeting. I has to do with clean, new,
    emission-free energy. It is actually a modification of an existing type of
    energy. I am referring to small modular reactors and microreactors. They
    could be used in the Arctic instead of diesel fuel. The member for Malpeque
    was saying that it would take a lot of trucks off the road if we could
    install a microreactor or small modular reactor at his french fry plant.

    Since the member who just spoke would like to see a clean, emission-free
    environment, would he be willing to ensure that small modular reactors and
    microreactors will come to market very soon?

    March 9th, 1:05 p.m.
    Business of Supply

    Madam Speaker,
    As the member of Parliament for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, I welcome this
    opportunity to speak to the motion put forward by my hon. colleague from the
    eastern Ontario riding of Carleton.

    This motion is about lost opportunity. The finance minister has squandered
    the healthy treasury that was left to him by the previous Conservative
    government and the balanced budget that came with our prudent management of
    public finances. A balanced budget is not an aspirational goal for the next
    century. It is something that Canadians expect in this decade or before.

    An absolute vacuum of leadership exists in the Liberal Party today.
    Canadians have yet to hear a coherent question period response from the
    Prime Minister since his party lost the popular vote in the last election,
    which is the same arrogant approach the Prime Minister took before the
    election. Canadians deserve better.

    Canadians are now asking whether Canada is broken. The answer I am hearing
    from Canadians from all walks of life is yes. The failed, divisive policies
    of the current government are breaking Canada apart and there is no doubt
    that, with the events of late, Canada is at a turning point. During a recent
    question period, my colleague from Alberta politely asked if the Prime
    Minister wanted to keep Alberta in Canada. Canadians are still waiting for
    an answer.
    Can we move forward in this changing world of 2020, awash in manufactured
    fears about the weather and phony policies like carbon taxes, which do
    nothing to help the environment but do everything to raise taxes to reward
    Liberal Party favourites?
    Can we overcome the economic, social and political unrest the government has
    created by making promises to indigenous Canadians and giving an aboriginal
    woman a prominent seat at the cabinet table only to purge her from the
    Liberal Party for standing up for the rule of law in Canada? The fired
    former justice minister passed the democracy test with flying colours. The
    Prime Minister failed Canadians miserably with his treatment of a strong

    Happy International Women's Day, Mr. Prime Minister.

    That is a powerful message the groper sent to women and aboriginals. Actions
    speak louder than words. Canadians—

    March 9th, 1:10 p.m.
    Business of Supply
    Madam Speaker, if the word appears in the list of inappropriate words, I
    shall retract it.

    Actions speak louder than words, and Canadians are very wary of efforts to
    incite hatred and suspicion. Canadians are not a violent people and it is
    time for the Liberal Party to quit using law-abiding citizens, like firearms
    owners, to whip up their left-wing base. The Liberals need to stop wasting
    taxpayer dollars to create problems that only cause divisiveness.

    Today's motion requires information paid for with taxpayer dollars to be
    made available to all Canadians. I can understand why the government refuses
    to be open and transparent with Canadians when we see where the government
    is paying for advice from, with what has been made available.

    The former minister of the environment took the step to create the Canadian
    institute for climate change and handed it 20 million of our taxpayer
    dollars for a report supporting her view. I quote from independent analysis
    by the informed observer Parker Gallant, no relation, on what that $20
    million in taxpayer dollars cost Canadians:

    "Should one read a report titled Canada’s Top Climate Change Risks issued
    July 2019 by the “Expert Panel” on “Climate Change Risks and Adaptation
    Potential”, you would probably think the “Charting our Course” report
    recently issued by the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices (CICC) was an
    update but it wasn’t! What a comparison of the two reports highlight is
    words spoken by the former Minister of the Environment... who said: “if you
    repeat it, if you say it louder, if that is your talking point, people will
    totally believe it”. The latest CICC report exemplifies her quote and us
    taxpayers have provided the CICC with $20 million to ensure we “totally
    believe it”!

    The first report’s “Expert Panel” are part of the “Canadian Council of
    Academies”. The council, launched in 2002, has managed to survive on $45
    million of our tax dollars for the past 18 years. They are required to
    produce five reports annually when directed by the Federal Government. Their
    report on Canada’s climate change risks came about as a result of a
    direction from the Treasury Board of Canada. Seven (7) individuals on CCA’s
    “expert panel” and “workshop participants” are a part of CICC’s “expert”
    group and another eight (8) of those experts at the CICC were also cited as
    references in the CCA’s report. One of those was Blair Feltmate, Chair of
    the Intact Centre at Waterloo University. Needless to say, both reports lean
    heavily on the insurance industries information about how “climate change”
    has increased insurance claims. Catastrophes are forecast in both reports
    and similar comparisons are made to past events blaming them on “climate
    change”. The latter includes the Fort McMurray wildfires with estimated
    insurance claims of $1.4 billion. The CBC reported on the fire stating:
    “Provincial wildfire investigators have established that the fire was most
    likely the result of “human activity.”

    On page 2 of the CCA’s report they have a map of Canada and have
    highlighted 10 of “Canada’s Top Climate Change Risks” and one of them is:
    “Lower Great Lakes water levels, affecting shipping, hydropower production,
    and recreation”. As noted above the CCA report was published in July 2019
    two years after Ontarians were told Lake Ontario had just experienced a
    “100-year flood”. Even worse flooding occurred in 2019 setting new records.
    Apparently the “experts” involved in preparing the report failed to absorb
    the well-publicized news at that time and said nothing about “Plan 2014”!

    Plan 2014, for the benefit of Canadians who have not heard of it, is the
    policy of the federal government to create 26,000 hectares, or 64,000 acres,
    of wetland by flooding homeowners in the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence water
    basin, which includes the Ottawa River watershed. What happens when
    homeowners who are being adversely affected by catastrophic flooding dare to
    question the Liberal policy to flood their homes? They are viciously
    attacked by the Liberal government's hand-picked Liberal appointees shilling
    that policy.

    Canadian co-chair Pierre Béland is one of three recent Liberal appointees on
    the International Joint Commission that is overseeing Liberal flood policy.
    I found his comment to the volunteer president of the United Shoreline
    Ontario, telling her to effectively “shut up”, deeply offensive. His shallow
    attempt at a superficial apology, after he was called out for his comment,
    was even more offensive when he dismissed the concern of flood victims.

    For the record, here is the response to Chairman Béland from the president
    of a group of flood victims trying to get a fair hearing from an insensitive
    government that paid $20 million, taxpayer dollars, to hear that the problem
    with the lower Great Lakes is “not enough water”.

    “Yes, you have deeply offended...as a woman and as a mother, as a homeowner
    and a flood survivor, as a volunteer and as an advocate, and as a Canadian
    with a right to be heard and not dismissed by those in power. Thank you for
    your explanation justifying why I was so deserving of your response. We
    consider our position to be balanced and evidence-based. We are asking for
    balance. Your description of my bias is your own. To address your claim, we
    indicate that 250 is foreseeable while also explaining that nobody can
    predict. If you listen to the recording at both the Toronto and Kingston
    events this week, you will hear exactly, which is being repeated at all
    events, 'Plan for the worst, hope for the best.' Perhaps you might consider
    how shipping has an exclusive focus and hydro has an exclusive focus, both
    of whom are extremely well-funded, and have incredible power and access to
    both the IJC and the media. The shoreline is unfunded, unrepresented and
    absolutely exhausted from trying to desperately be heard. Your flippant,
    misogynistic and rude email has simply reinforced the shoreline does not
    have a respected nor genuine position at the table. I will resign from the
    USO effective May 1, under advisement that the Canadian chair of the IJC has
    suggested 'her' to take a break.”

    Liberal appointee Béland has lost all credibility with Canadians.
    His arrogance is astounding, even for a Liberal.
    If Pierre Béland will not do the honourable thing and resign, to the Minister
    of Foreign Affairs, who is accountable for the IJC in Parliament, will the
    hon. member do the right thing and remove him from the board of the
    International Joint Commission now, before the next flood season?

    This needs to happen immediately if the Government of Canada wants any
    confidence in the Canadian representation on the IJC. With bad advice come
    bad decisions. Historians believe that a 50-year perspective is needed to
    analyze events. Many believe that history will not be on Canada's side in
    terms of the poor record of the Liberal government.

    March 9th, 1:20 p.m.
    Business of Supply

    Madam Speaker, I was in Australia during the fires and I know that over 200
    people were charged with arson. Worse than ever is the climate of just
    spending away money without making sure that the money is there to pay for
    what Canadians need.

  7. There would have been a major computer-caused disaster in the early hours of the year 2000 if a lot of clever people making a lot of overtime pay behind the scenes had not done a lot of work to fix the problem before it happened. The fact that the Y2K problem didn't happen is a tribute to all those talented programmers who the media never bothered to tell you about.

  8. I imagine the alarmist might claim that all the policies that have been put in place since the predictions have succeeded.
    Please tell me that is wrong?

  9. Could it be that they are cooking the books on reduced crop yields by forcing a 1/3 reduction in fertilizer use. As always, the real danger from climate variations comes from the knee-jerk reactions of our lawmakers.

  10. Look at the transgender movement, the push to surgically and chemically castrate children supported by multi billion dollar corporations and parents.

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