Day: April 12, 2010

Canada's only proposed Carbon Targets in Danger

Bill C-311, Canada’s Climate Change Accountability Act, is back in the “news” (no silly, not the media, who have more important things to worry about). I had written about this before the Copenhagen meeting. This bill sets Canada up with greenhouse gas emission reduction targets that would put Canada in a respectable mainstream position, 25% below 1990 levels by 2020, 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. But the Conservatives, in one of their classic legislative gambits, have forwarded the vote for April 14th, Wednesday. If the bill doesn’t pass here, it’s dead, and 4 years of countless committee readings, and multiple votes to pass would be wasted. And Canada will not have any climate change legislation whatsoever.

Serious business, isn’t it? Climate Action has more, including what you need to do (I know, short notice, that’s apparently how important decisions get made around here).

The Liberals hold the key. It was they who voted with the Conservatives the last time to scuttle the pre-Copenhagen vote. As of writing this post, no official word from the Liberals on their position.

A call to Michael Ignatieff’s office, (613) 995-9364 gives me little hope of passage. I was told that the MPs had met, that Mr. Ignatieff would not be voting (apparently, because it’s a private member’s bill, leaders don’t vote, weird). Also, the official position of the party is that because it is a private member’s bill, that every MP would be free to vote on their “conscience”. Given that the Liberal party could not even defend women’s health in a recent whipped vote, I wonder where their conscience is on this.

A call to David McGuinty’s (the Liberal Environmental Critic) Office, (613) 992-3269, elicited the rather helpful response that they would not be commenting on their stand till after the vote.

Of our local MPs, both Denise Savoie (NDP) and Dr. Keith Martin (Liberal) will be voting to preserve the bill, they are on record saying this at a forum on climate change last week. Of course, Gary Lunn (Conservative) is not part of the equation here, pointless.

So, call, call and call away, the Liberals need to hear about this. They don’t appear to understand the most basic rule of opposition politics, you get no points for supporting the government, except from pundits in the mainstream media. Only if you inflict some defeats on the government will the people of Canada take you seriously.

David McGuinty – (613) 992-3269
Michael Ignatieff – (613) 995-9364

As always, remember that it is the Liberals that will be blamed for this bill’s demise, we all know the Conservative position on climate change. The NDP and Bloc Quebecois have voted repeatedly to pass this legislation. It is Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals who will stand in the way of Canada’s environmental progress.