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Catherine McKenna was appointed to the position of Minister of Environment and Climate Change in November 2015. In this role, she helped develop and implement Canada’s first-ever comprehensive national climate plan, which included doubling the amount of protected nature, investing in public transportation and energy efficiency projects, phasing out coal in Canada and co-creating the Phasing Out Coal Alliance, putting a pan-national price on pollution, and implementing better rules to manage the assessment and regulation of natural resources projects. McKenna also went above and beyond her mandate to work on the issue of plastic pollution, bringing together Environment Ministers from the provinces to agree to produce a national strategy to phase out single-use plastics by 2021.
As the Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre, McKenna worked with the federal government to fund Phase II of the Ottawa Light Rail Transit System, new cycling infrastructure in downtown Ottawa, the expansion of public transit, and to grant a national heritage designation to the Ottawa River.