Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Another day, another announcement, all part of the Harper environmental blitz. Who is this guy?

Don't get me wrong, much of the blitz is objectively good news. Okay, Harper has stole every idea available, but it's hard to argue the substance. What next? I'm half expecting to read in tomorrow's paper that Harper has chained himself to a tree, to prevent the logging of an environmentally sensitive tract of land. Will the Prime Minister be biking to the House of Commons when parliament reconvenes?

There is no historical precedent for the apparent Harper epiphany. When has a politician gone from such complete indifference, to tossing around massive expenditures as though driven by a passionate cause? You almost believe the guy, almost.

Here's the problem? Despite some solid announcements, and more to come, like the rumored rebate on hybrid cars, it's really hard to give Harper credit. I suppose if political calculation is your measure, you have to tip your hand to the onslaught, but that is hardly a worthy motivation. What we are witnessing is sensory overkill. Harper is dazzling us with announcement after announcement, from every geographical location imaginable, to paint the sky green. All the right moves, for all the wrong reasons.

I can't wait for the next photo-op, wherein Harper enters upstream, gently navigating his cedar canoe down a shallow riffle, whilst singing to a lonely woodchuck in the canopy.


Shannon said...

Same old same old we get every year no matter who is in government - pre-budget announcements from the Feds then pre-budget announcements from the Premiers.

Guess they want all the media hype they can get before budget day.


Anonymous said...

Protecting urgan sprawl for King City - ya, an area where those who are "better off" than most.


I can't stand seeing Harper everywhere any more - when a TV channel shows Harper - I move on. Enough already!

Prairie Kid said...

Kinda reminds me of Liberals before elections. Except Liberal promises were twice as many and half as many actually came through. Harper has already proved that he keeps his promises when the opposition allows him to do so without watering down the bills.

Steve V said...

"Kinda reminds me of Liberals before elections."

That fact might simply be a function of Harper lifting all the Liberal initiatives. Originality doesn't appear to be a strong suit, re-packaging a real skill indeed.

Enjoy the kool-aid. Yum.

ottlib said...

I only have a few minutes and then I have to get back to work so I will say this and maybe expand on it later.

Stephen Harper could be overplaying his hand.

Steve V said...


Get you priorities straight ;)

I think I agree with what your getting at there.

rockfish said...

The problem is, these aren't Harpor's promises, they're the Liberals. Of course the CON songsters forget that Harpor had to kill the programs first before he could magically -- AbracaDabra! -- make them reappear.
As to his own promises... Accountability? Yeah, appointing that bagman-senator-cum-cabinet minister, gagging all members of his caucus, locking the door from lobbyiests and then handing out all party members personal keys, finnagling the process for judicial appointments of those who were going to be his check and balance, etc etc. Seems Martin's minority actually passed more legislation, but Harpor's passed more wind.

Sheeple said...

I have to disagree with you on this one. I really think it's a bit naieve to believe that the measures Harper has announced amount to good environmental policy. Harper has stolen ideas from the liberals, yes, but only some of the ideas and in a half-hearted way. What is left out of the discussion is more important. For example, there's no comprehenseive national plan here, there's no serious talk of either a carbon tax or a domestic carbon market, there's no talk of money for retrofiting houses, or a national transportation agenda. There's no money for cities either.

Steve V said...


I think we have to wait for the other shoe to drop. Having said that, the hydrogen highway is an objectively good idea, as is protecting lands. If Harper offers a rebate on hybrid cars, that's a good idea too. The problem, he has stole the idea, but let's just pretend it was the Liberals announcing all of their ideas- how would we react?

The key will be the emissions targets, and I'm still not convinced Harper will engage in any short-term program. We already hear talk of new technologies coming on line, which is code for inaction straight away. If the central plank is intensity targets then Harper has made a major error, and will lose any of the momentum the onslaught has given him.

Sheeple said...


It's already clear that we're going to hear this government talk about regulation, while in fact they mean intensity targets. We're not going to be hearing about domestic carbon markets or a carbon tax. We're not going to hear about a plan to meet Kyoto targets from this government.

There is no comprehensive national strategy, Harper is simply playing politics for the coming election.

We especially need to remind ourselves that while everyone congratulates Harper for investing 1.5 billion into an "Ecotrust," he cut $5.6 billion from the Environment last year. This is not a government moving forward. It is a government engaged in a PR war.

Steve V said...

"It is a government engaged in a PR war."

I don't disagree.