The Conservative government plans to breathe life into 25-year-old automobile fuel-efficiency legislation that has languished unused in the lawbooks, a key component of their Clean Air Act to be introduced Thursday.
A senior Conservative insider said the 1981 Motor Vehicle Fuel Consumption Standards Act, along with myriad other existing pieces of environmental legislation including the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, will be combined with new laws as part of the Tories' green plan...
But the legislation is only a framework, and will require the government to develop its own efficiency standards, which is sure to involve competing pressures from industry and environmentalists.
Ambrose will pull the dust off this legislation to create the illusion that this government has the fortitude to use it, while others have failed. Problem one, Ambrose has already said nothing will happen until 2010, at which time "negotiations" with industry will begin- am I the only one who noticed the smiling auto execs leaving their meeting with Ambrose, or Hargrove saying "he felt a lot better" after hearing Ambrose. Cough, hack. Problem two, the legislation has no teeth, the government still needs to set the regulations. This legislation is still dormant until they come up with parameters, so why announce as though you have decided to do something?
A quick glimpse at how demanding the new regulations will likely be were offered here:
Protecting the environment is important, but it shouldn't come at the cost of Canadian businesses, says federal Labour Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn...
"You have to be pro-environment, but it's also necessary to go ahead in a flexible, measured manner so that businesses don't start an uproar," Blackburn told The Canadian Press.
That explains the smiling.
It looks like the Conservatives will bombard us with a mirade of "measures", in the hopes the mirage will get lost in the perceived weight. I have to admit, the Conservatives are doing a masterful job of appearing relevant, while simultaneously doing nothing. The key will be, are Canadians attentive to the details?