Sending foreign affairs minister John Baird as Canada's frontman to the Rio+20 Earth Summit next month sends the world a pretty clear message - "forget it." It proclaims that, to the Harper regime, even at this critical point, climate change is primarily a political problem, not a pressing existential threat to humanity.
The Guardian has a lovely piece today on our For-Aff loudmouth and his explanation for cutting the funding for the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy.
"Baird told reporters that Canadian taxpayers should not have to pay for an organisation that has produced 10 reports promoting a carbon tax – "something that the people of Canada have repeatedly rejected".
"'But that's not correct,' the Roundtable's CEO, David McLaughlin, told the Guardian on Thursday, adding that it had never advocated a carbon tax but had looked at cap and trade for regulating Canada's greenhouse gas emissions in a 2009 report commissioned by the government. 'Which was government policy at the time,' said McLaughlin.
"McLaughlin, a former chief of staff to federal finance minister Jim Flaherty, stressed there was always original analysis in its reports, making available information that would not otherwise be in the public domain. McLaughlin also pointed to the Roundtable's ability to combine research while convening people from industry as well as the environmental sector together."
That the Ginger-Pig can lie so effortlessly about killing off the NRTEE suggests what we can expect when he gets to work derailing efforts at meaningful action at Rio+20. We'll know his work is done when Canada's humiliation is complete.