Several environmentalists hoping to attend the conference Tuesday were turned away, according to David Hocking, acting executive director of the David Suzuki Foundation, who was told it was a "private meeting" with the media.
"I guess you can see why, because they really didn't announce anything," Mr. Hocking said, adding that the government's continued delay in delivering its environmental platform is frustrating the environmental community.
All the experts agree, the government doesn't need a new Clean Air Act to implement change, ample legislative power is already in place:
Environmentalists and opposition party critics have said that the government could immediately crack down on air pollution and greenhouse gases by using existing powers under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, instead of tabling legislation that could take years to implement.
Canada waits while we soldier through an unnecessary vanity exercise, which only delays. The Tory apologists can argue until the cows come home, this initiative is nothingness, as one environmental group put it, simply "re-inventing the wheel".
Even more insulting, despite the fact that industry has been consulted since 1998, this government offers the following:
The government plans to spend a year consulting with industry and the provinces with the aim of coming up with short-, medium-and long-term targets that will have to be met by regulation, rather than on the voluntary basis that exists now.
Translation, the government will call an election within the next year. Canadians want action, this government has the gall to offer talks and try to spin it as though it were substantive. Canadians are taken for a cynical ride.
Where will the talks end? Harper made the tactical error of using the word "intensity" to describe curbing emissions. This argument is a statistical manipulation that the Conservatives will use to argue progress. You lower the intensity of emissions by producing oil, at a cleaner rate per barrel. The intensity is reduced and therefore you have less emissions. The sick part of the joke, Canada will greatly increase its oil output in the coming years, which means a reduction in intensity will still mean an overall increase in emissions. The Harper approach relies on a flurry of numbers to confuse the issue. What is clear, under Harper's "approach" the bottomline number of actual emissions will rise.
So, the Conservatives plan to allocate more money for the hated Liberals transit strategy, enact an unnecessary Hot Air Act to look relevant, consult with big industry while the planet fails and then get down to business. These people think we are stupid, that they can use propaganda to mask reality. Making an announcement to announce you are doing nothing is the epitomy of arrogance, demonstrating how absurd the new reality in Canada has become.