An interesting thing happened this week in the world of politics and journalism. While still attempting to weigh all sides of the debate concerning Canada?s plan to preserve our environment, the major national media outlets didn?t pull any punches concerning the hollow rhetoric of the opposition parties, particularly the latest threats by Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion.
Even the Globe & Mail, which typically falls on the opposite side of the Conservative Government in ANY debate, reserved its editorial section to acknowledge the Conservative Government?s brutal accuracy on why Canada cannot meet its original Kyoto targets. At the same time it condemned Mr. Dion?s environmental record and his empty criticism of the Conservative response to Kyoto.
Citing Mr. Dion?s ?sad predictability?, the Globe & Mail?s editorial board went on to say that his statements about bringing down the minority government this fall if the opposition parties? redrafted version of the Clean Air Act does not pass, is an ?unfortunate threat? that ignores the reality that ?aiming for Kyoto now would be a nightmare?.
As Mark Jaccard, a professor of resources and environmental management at Simon Fraser University has pointed out, ?you would have to destroy one-third of the buildings and equipment in your economy in the next four years to meet the Kyoto target.?
Mr. Dion?s latest remarks, following his bizarre claims of secret conspiracy theories to sell Canada?s water, were prompted by our Government?s official response to Bill C-288, a Liberal private member?s bill the opposition parties pushed through Parliament as a political statement. C-288 seeks to bind Canada to its original Kyoto targets. However, it is not a money bill. The federal government cannot spend a single cent to implement the act, making it toothless.
Nevertheless, our Government has respected the law by filing the necessary response.
Under Kyoto, Canada?s target is to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to 563 megatonnes per year by 2012. However, in 2005, after emissions steadily climbed, Canada?s emissions sat at 747 megatonnes and rising. The only way to make up the 200-megatonne-plus gap is to invoke severe economic consequences that would profoundly affect the quality of life of every Canadian.
As the Globe & Mail cautions, ?no one should forget that emissions rose steadily under the former Liberal government, year after year, despite its Kyoto vows.? It also calls the opposition parties? revised clean air bill ?simply too bureaucratic and unwieldy?.
In contrast, the Conservative Government has taken immediate action by implementing, for the first time in history, mandatory targets on industry so that greenhouse gases will register absolute reductions in just three years and air pollution will be cut in half just eight years from now. We?ve also implemented a chemicals management plan and invested heavily in helping industry and consumers access new energy technologies and renewable energy.
And our Government continues to work cooperatively with our international partners to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reach a post-2012 commitment for the second phase of Kyoto. A Kyoto that we believe should include all major emitting countries. The Conservative environmental plan is based upon reality and fact. And that?s why it is already producing real results.