Harper EnviroMin Jim Prentice may have given Michael Ignatieff the best reason ever not to pull the pin on the minority Conservative government.
To Prentice has fallen the unenviable task of formulating a Canadian policy on global warming in advance of December's international climate change summit in Copenhagen. To put it delicately, Jim's nuts are in a vice on this one.
Jimbo has to come up with something that could pass for a carbon emissions reduction plan while protecting the most environmentally catastrophic energy project on earth - the Athabasca Tar Sands. All this nonsense about carbon capture and sequestration is just that, nonsense. If it was viable for the Tar Sands, it would have been in place by now and it's not nor is it scheduled for any time in the future. CCS isn't even a target. It's a joke. Unable to turn lead into gold, Prentice is scrambling to do something and, according to the Toronto Star, that something translates into shifting the burden of our national emissions targets onto every province except Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Environment Minister Jim Prentice has pitched the two-tier approach in meetings with industry executives and provincial governments aimed at setting up a market to cap greenhouse gas emissions and let companies trade carbon credits to reduce pollution.
Though plans are described as a work in progress, numerous accounts say the Conservatives intend to put a cap on the emissions from Ontario's manufacturing sector and other polluting industries across Canada, while letting oil and gas companies meet less stringent intensity targets which allow output, and pollution, to increase.
That could jeopardize the economies of eight provinces and three territories for the sake of continued growth in Alberta and Saskatchewan, detractors say.
I can't understand why Ignatieff would take Messrs. Harper and Prentice off the hook just when they have finally painted themselves into this corner. Then again, I haven't been able to understand most of Iggy's positions anyway.
Why would this be a reason for Iggy not to pull the plug on Harper and company?
I certainly don't want this type of policy in place.
I'll second Scott's comment, and add that if Harper is indeed cornered on the issue, then it should be all the better to run a campaign when it's going to be front and centre rather than after Harper has rendered the point moot by undermining the Copenhangen negotiations.
Why? Because Harper would probably inflict enormous damage on the CPC from this everywhere except Alberta and Saskatchewan.
I think Steve would be handing his own head on a platter to an astute Liberal leader.
Just for clarification purposes, there is no such thing as the Athabasca 'Tar' sands.
MOS - I disagree - you can't get a "Harper head on a platter" until you attack Harper in an election campaign using this. If the provinces outside of Alta/Sask are already giving the Harperites extreme blowback.. all the better to use it in an election campaign.
It's the voters in the 'rest of Canada' you need to give Harper blowback Scott, not a few provincial politicians. Moving quickly merely takes Harper off the hook before that discontent can develop.
And, Jesse, they're the "Tar Sands" to me and most of the world. They're sure as hell not "Oil Sands" as claimed by Stelmach, Harper and Ignatieff.
That train has already left the station; the only thing outstanding is the timing of Liberal votes against the Tory government, each and every time until the Tory government is voted down.
I suppose you're right Cat and, given my impatience with Iggy so far, I probably shouldn't complain. That said I think this is an issue that could cost Harper a lot of support if allowed to develop. Of course who's to say Iggy wouldn't do the same deal to preserve the Tar Sands?
Former Alberta Progressive Conservative premier has referred to them as the tar sands. It's a marketing ploy only to call them oil sands instead.
With the kind of process the "tar sands" go through to obtain "synthetic" oil, how could anyone possibly call it "oil sands"? It is what it is, tar!! Iggy needs to ask the Canadian people what it is that most concerns them before he does anything. He would get a lot more respect by doing so, rather than trying to make a mad dash for the PM's office. What the people of Canada see now, is what they are going to get with Iggy in power...it will only be a different face. A. Morris
A Morris, what is the difference between Iggy and Harper? Two sides of the same coin. Iggy has a tendency for stumbles and could lose badly and I for one will be shedding no tears, as I see no difference between these two as it stands now. Liberals need a new leader and that is the election I can support.
Our institutions - government, political parties (that would be the Liberals and the Conservatives) and media - seem to suffer a peculiar aversion to discussing or debating the tar sands - their pros and cons - in any substantive or meaningful way. What passes for debate in Canada is a ritualized us vs. them (eastern Canada vs. west, Calgary vs. Toronto, industry vs. enviros) flailing about which does little to enlighten Canadians about what they're doing in their own back yard. Or, as in the blog, some seem to get hung up on whether they should be called oil or tar sands. Absent meaningful discussion and debate, absent too the trappings of democratic process and public (or private) accountability and we Canadians are left with an extremely narrow conception of the public good as defined for us by public officials (political and civil servants) virtually in lockstep with industry. The externalities of, say, polluting the third largest watershed in the world or the Canadian dollar's new found status as a petro-currency be damned. This can't be good for anyone - even industry, in the long run. Ironically, it seems only when the issue is moved 'offshore' into the US and Europe to be discussed and debated by non-Canadians that it gets a more substantive treatment in the Canadian political process and media. For those who would like to see what it actually looks like some photographs at http://www.beautifuldestruction.ca and http://www.louishelbig.com
Well said Louis. Thanks. And I took a moment to check out your photo gallery. Great.
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