Some in Canada will think it perfectly appropriate that Canadian governments have paid little heed to Canada’s environment commissioner annual warnings that Canada just hasn’t been getting it done when it comes to climate change. Others will find this review depressing that we have not got it done on climate change.
Lorrie and many of my colleagues will, no doubt, be taking on the scientists and established opinion about climate change .
As for me, I’m more interested in following the politics of it all. The opponents of the Harper government love to holler that the Harper government are climate change deniers. Really? Well, bad news for those folks. Here’s an interview I did at the end of 2011 with Peter Kent, the Conservative MP who was, at the time, Stephen Harper’s environment minister. I asked him flat-out — first question — if his government believes that human beings are causing global warming and whether or not we can do something about it: Continue reading The Harper record on climate change: Believers and big spenders!
Ian Austen, who reports for the New York Times about Canada, only quotes opposition MP, New Democrat Brian Masse, in a piece that takes a look at one of the side effects of Alberta oil.
“Here’s a little bit of Alberta,” said Brian Masse, one of Windsor’s Parliament members. “For those that thought they were immune from the oil sands and the consequences of them, we’re now seeing up front and center that we’re not.”
Mr. Masse wants the International Joint Commission, the bilateral agency that governs the Great Lakes, to investigate the pile. Michigan’s state environmental regulatory agency has submitted a formal request to Detroit Bulk Storage, the company holding the material for Koch Carbon, to change its storage methods. Michigan politicians and environmental groups have also joined cause with Windsor residents. Paul Baltzer, a spokesman for Koch’s parent company, Koch Companies Public Sector, did not respond to questions about its storage or the ultimate destination of the petroleum coke.
Coke, which is mainly carbon, is an essential ingredient in steelmaking as well as producing the electrical anodes used to make aluminum.
“What the frack goes on with the [BC] Liberal party?” says Vancouver 24 Hours columnist Bill Tieleman. Bill also notes — and I agree — “This has also been the most environmentally-minded campaign I’ve ever seen in B.C.”
2-04-13 Resolution on Support for the Forestry Industry
Submitted by Burnaby—New Westminster, Gaspésie-Iles-de-la-Madeleine
WHEREAS the evolution of the market for forest products over the last decade has had an important impact on the forestry industry, including: the declining demand for newsprint; the lower number of construction projects; the dispute with the United States over the export of softwood lumber; and the rise in international competition combined with a strong Canadian dollar and high fuel costs;
BE IT RESOLVED that the NDP reaffirm its opposition to the softwood lumber agreements –signed by the
Liberals in 1996 and by the Conservatives in 2006 that are still preventing the expansion of our industry;
BE IT RESOLVED that the NDP work in consultation with provinces and territories to put forward a strategy to revive Canada’s forestry industry, with the objective of creating value-added jobs, developing our forests in a sustainable way, and respecting aboriginal rights;
BE IT RESOLVED that this strategy include measures to diversify the secondary manufacturing of timber through programs in support of research and development;
BE IT RESOLVED that the NDP call on the government of Canada to expand international markets to Canadian wood, especially in Asia.
MP Francois Lapointe ( Montmagny—L’Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup) spoke in favour of this motion.
A delegate complained that this motion supports the “forestry industry” not the “workers in the forestry industry.”
The NDP Convention in Montreal debated the following resolution:
2-02-13 Resolution on Updating the Federal Water Policy
Submitted by the Quebec Section
BE IT RESOLVED that the NDP support updating the Federal Water Policy.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Policy must be updated in a manner respectful of provincial and municipal jurisdiction and First Nations over water management.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the policy’s core principles should include the notions already part of the NDP policy—that free universal access to clean water is a human right, and integrated water management must ensure that reserves of clean water are adequate to maintain aquatic ecosystems.
I have a bright shiny loonie in my pocket that I promise to give to whoever can point me to an example of any government anywhere in Canada that wins a showdown with their auditor general. I start from the assumption that, if you are a prime minister or a premier and the auditor general says your government is screwing up, it’s likely best to quietly agree, say you’ll fix the problem and move on, even if you don’t agree, rather than pick a fight with your auditor general. The reasoning here is that voters tend to believe auditors general and they tend not to believe politicians. I fully recognized that there is a great variety in abilities of auditors general across the country and a great variety in politicians but, when these two worlds collide, it matters not and so, I give you this First General Rule of Politics: Auditors General Are Always Right.
Like they did in 2008, in the 2011 general election campaign, Jack Layton and the New Democrats put an election platform before Canadians that included commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by, among other things, doing the following:
We will put a price on carbon through a cap-and-trade system, which will establish hard emissions limits for Canada’s biggest polluters to ensure companies pay their environmental bills and to create an incentive for emissions reductions;