Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Good On Layton

I don't care if Harper spins. I don't care if Layton sees political opportunity. What I do care about is achieving some environmental plan that actually has some teeth:
Layton charged that greenhouse gases and pollution won't go down for at least 15 to 20 years under the Conservative plan.

"That's why I made an offer yesterday to the prime minister to sit down together and come up with a plan to tackle climate change that could actually pass this house," Layton said Tuesday.

But it's not clear whether Harper is willing to negotiate a rewrite to his plan for dealing with smog and climate change.

Layton also announced Tuesday that he tabled a private member's bill, which targets climate change.

"Under this act, action to reduce dangerous gas emissions begins immediately, and the government will be forced to put in place targets within the six months of it being adopted," Layton said.

In the short-term, the government would be required to publish a plan for interim targets for every five years, as well as regulations published no later than one year from now.

In the mid-term, the act legislates a target of 25 per cent reduction by 2020 while the long-term targets legislate an 80 per cent reduction of green house gas emissions by 2050.

"It's time for this minority parliament to get work done. We need a plan that addresses climate change today, and this act, which I will be discussing with the prime minister later today, will put Canada on the right track," Layton said.

Where is the harm in Layton attempting to give this legislation some substance? Why are Liberals approaching this from a partisan perspective? How can anyone who cares about the environment thumb their nose at Layton's overture? The bottomline, if Layton pulls this off, we all benefit, so I say GO FOR IT. I could care less who comes off smelling like a rose and who looks relevant and I'm pretty sure most Canadians would agree. If Layton can move Harper, then I say job well done.

6 comments:

Bud said...

Under the Liberal "plan", greenhouse gases went up 30%. You call that a plan? Liberals will have to learn that you can't just write things on the back of a napkin every time a poll shows that Canadians are favoring one thing or another. The Conservatives are at least putting a plan in place. And to be fair, you gotta give them 13 years before you can complain.

Steve V said...

bud

Did you read the post, or do you just automatically go into thoughtless partisan mode???

Karen said...

Back of a napkin, yada, yada, yada.

While I do think Layton's motives are far from altruistic, I too hope that something comes of this.

I think the Clean Air Act is written in a way, that will make it easy to sell the smog aspect, as that's more easily understood by the masses. I doubt that Harper will want to lose that, however, if in addition to that, we can get real targets on emmissions, etc., that would be a good thing.

I guess we'll know soon enough.

Olaf said...

Steve,

Although I am HIGHLY sympathetic to Bud's "13 years before you can complain" argument (we've been down that road before, so I won't travel it again), I'm gonna have to agree with you on this one.

I mean, if Layton can convince Harper (who is ALWAYS open to new ideas... especially from the NDP), I will first of all be utter stunned, but I really don't think that the sky will fall any time soon. It's really not THAT much different than the Conservatives plan, just gets things done faster. It's doesn't take a complete conceptual shift to accept (as I understand it), just a higher degree of urgency.

Plus it's good for my boys in blue because it will be slightly more difficult to paint them as an army of EnvironmentHatinDickCheneys. I think the '6 months' thing is a bit short - the government couldn't change its collective pants in 6 months (I don't know why I said that but you know what I mean). But I'd say an 18 month period would be doable.

Karen said...

Well, after watching the news conference, I'm sorry to say we still don't know very much.

First of all, they met for all of 30 minutes. Layton is disappointed, the Harper gov't says it was a good meeting.

Harper is in a position to play this any way he chooses.

I'm sorry Steve, I'll reserve final judgement until tomorrow, or Thursday, (opposition day), but thus far, I'm seeing an awful lot of politics here...on all sides including the Lib's. I haven't heard from Duceppe yet.

Steve V said...

knb

"I'm sorry Steve, I'll reserve final judgement until tomorrow, or Thursday,"

Agreed! My point is not to dismiss the overture out of hand. Layton looked somewhat red in the face during his press conference.