Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Baird Sells UN Envoy

Nobody said Baird isn't good:
A top United Nations official says he is no longer alarmed by Canada’s stand on the Kyoto Protocol now that he better understands the Conservative government’s position.

“I must admit, I was worried for some time, but I was much encouraged by the clarification,” Yvo de Boer, executive secretary to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, said in Montreal Tuesday.

He said he now understands that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government wasn’t rejecting the value of the Kyoto accord, but rather observed its objectives cannot be met within the target deadline.

De Boer was responding to reporters’ questions after addressing about 300 delegates, including environmentalists and politicians.

The UN official’s statements clearly pleased federal Environment Minister John Baird, who was at the media event and also addressed the delegates

"In spite of the problems that Canada is encountering, there is a policy framework put in place," said Yvo de Boer, executive secretary to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

"There is a commitment to an internationally negotiated framework, so I must admit that it made me feel a lot better," he said.

Yvo de Boer is taking Baird at his word, but he might want to brush up on Stephen Harper's history, as it relates to Kyoto before reaching the above conclusion. The Conservative apprehension has nothing to do with failure to meet targets, but a profound distrust of the entire system. I'm not going to bother pulling out all the quotes, everyone knows the timelines.

What did we learn today? Canada really is a "world leader" that agrees with the United Nations approach to climate change, or John Baird is a polished salesman, that knows how to say the right things to curry favor? Until the experts say different, I'll stick with the latter.


Prairie Kid said...

"Brush up on Steven Harper's history"?

History is more than a year in power. History is 13 years in power. Why don't you brush up on Liberal history and while you're at it, Dion's history?

People in glass houses . . . .

Steve V said...

"History is more than a year in power."

No shit sherlock. The record shows Harper fighting tooth and nail against Kyoto from the onset, prior to all the "we can't meet our targets" arguments. There is a philosophical resistence there, and it finds firm support in the record.

"People in glass houses"

It's a better view than the cave you apparently reside in :)

knb said...

What the hell?

Good gawd...Dion and May had better be on the phone NOW! Not to each other, to those who matter in this debate.

CBC radio is on and indeed, Baird is on at this moment, crowing.

Prarie Kid...kid would be the operative word...if and when you understand what is going on, please give us something useful.

Did we have 2 weeks of sensible reporting and now they are back to, well you know, they might make sense here, without actually examining it?

Man, I don't swear as a matter of course, but I cannot tell you what my mind is saying at this moment!

Darren McEwen said...

Well prairie kid,

If we want to talk history - there is a reason your people sat on the lonely opposition benches for 13 long cold years.

Secondly, Harper's "history" over those 13 years included his declaration of "a war on Kyoto" and if we'd been so unfortunate to have Steve in power a couple of years ago - it would have included ANOTHER war and one sad tale to enter into the Canadian history books.

knb said...

Well said Darren.

I heard an interview of con's actually reformers, who are fed up with Harper. I'm not sure what they will do, but at least they are true to their convictions. The con's that I see comment here and elsewhere, either you stood for Harper when he said what he wanted to do, and hasn't, or you stand for his duplicitous portrayal now. Make up your mind.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps someone credible and/or a petition should be sent to the UN with the "truth" about Harper.

Ti-Guy said...

If we want to talk history - there is a reason your people sat on the lonely opposition benches for 13 long cold years.

Hear, hear. I don't think Prairie Kid is Stockwell Day, but he might as well be since it's the calibre of rhethoric I had to listen to coming from the "Loyal Opposition" for 13 years.

Or course I'm lying. I stopped listening to them completely in the mid-90's.

billg said...

So...the guy who doesnt believe in Koyoto has managed to do more about GHG's then the guys who believed in Koyoto!! And..the UN envoy has agreed that Canada is finally taking Global Warming seriously. Come on...even the most partisan of hacks would find this amusing and ironic!!

Steve V said...


Bill, is that a new hybrid?

billg said...

oops. Kyoto.
Koyoto is my new 3 wood.

ottlib said...

Ahh, you just have to love international diplomacy don't you?

We have seen two instances of it on the same day.

The UN Envoy making his statements, which are patently untrue, as he knows the score but he knows embarassing the Canadian government will do no good.

If the Liberals win the next election look for him to be less happy about the position of the Canadian government as he will know that he will have a government more willing to listen to his concerns.

Then that little love fest in Kabul where President Karzai states that no torture is occuring in Afghan jails. Right, and he is also not talking to the Taliban and he has been a life-long Ottawa Senator's fan.

Oh yes, and the Afghan Senate did not just vote to expel all foreign troops in Afghanistan.

And President Karzai has not complained bitterly in the last weeks about civilian casualties that are resulting from the NATO Taliban hunt.

It is an axiom of international relations that you have to be nice to the other guy because you may need him in the future.

I also find it ironic that Mr. Harper had to go all the way to Afghanistan to find someone that unconditionally supports his Afghan policies. Mr. Harper has just tacitly admitted that his Afghan policies are a bust in Canada.

I also find it ironic that Mr. Baird would care what the UN environmental envoy would think considering the Conservatives have no time for the UN in general and its Environmental directorate in particular. However, I guess when your environemental plan is largely panned and criticised you accept positive reviews from any quarter. Another tacit admission that the Conservative environmental policies are a bust with Canadians.

Both Mr. Harper and Mr. Baird know that they are on the wrong side of the two most important issues to Canadians. So in desparation they are looking for lifelines wherever they can find them. Pathetic really and an indication that we may be seeing the beginning of the end of the Harper government.

billg said...

Um OttLib...I really dont think the UN or the envoy give a rats ass who's in power in Ottawa...I think the UN is releaved that finally someone in Ottawa is paying attention...I agree with you that both Harper and Baird dont beleive in Kyoto, but, who cares? Most people have been screaming and yelling for 5 years for us to at least start and now we finally have. There are two issue's that will derail the Libs, Kyoto and Afghanastan. You cant win the next election saying we buggered up Kyoto but we'll do better next time, and, I know we put our troops in Afghanastan but they dont belong there, and thats the way the Cons will spin it. Unfair? Pathetic? Maybe. Like saying no wage and price controls pathetic? Like elect me and I'll cancel the GST pathetic? Or, Mr Mcguinty having a photo op signing a contract not to raise tax's and then throwing the biggest tax raise in Ontario's history pathetic? Dont get me wrong...Mr Harper is learning very quickly about being pathetic, and, how if its done properly can win you election after election. I just find it rich for partisans to rail Mr Harper for doing what every Liberal PM and premier have done for decades.....lie.

Steve V said...


That is a valid point, because another article I read made reference to the fact these statements were made with Baird at Yvo de Boer's side, not to mention it was a Canadian venue. There is no question that these comments come within the context of diplomacy.

billg said...

Whaaaaat?? Photo ops and diplomatic context being used as a political tool?? Has that ever happened before?

Steve V said...


So, you agree that the comments were really about "making nice" and served as no evidence of real content? Good.

ottlib said...

No billg, the UN envoy does not give a rat's ass who is in power but it will dictate the approach he will take in dealing with the Canadian government.

To believe otherwise is silly.