Sunday, May 13, 2007

Conservatives Embarrass Canada

Jane Taber conducted an interview with Dale Marshall of the David Suzuki Foundation, to discuss the United Nations Conference on climate change being held in Bonn, Germany. The purpose of the talks, to lay the foundation for the next phase after 2012. According to Mr. Marshall Canada is largely AWOL and incompetent:
"There are a whole bunch of documents that Canada should have submitted to the process, what options Canada is prepared to take in the next phase. Those documents haven't been submitted to the United Nations, so other delegations are wondering what Canada's position is, and if we are going to take a leadership position."

Listening to John Baird, Canada is actively involved, leading the charge to move the international community forward. If this rhetoric were actually true, why then has Canada failed to submit proposals, ideas and scenarios to the United Nations? People can argue about the merits of Kyoto's initial phase, but these negotiations represent a new process, a new agenda, so the past Conservative criticism of Kyoto have no foundation in this instance. In other words, why is Canada embarrassing itself, by not even participating in the post-Kyoto talks? Why are other nations left to wonder where Canada stands?

What is even more shocking, the Tories have decided that they are now the climate changes experts, removing the real experts and industry from the process:

"This is a conference that used to involve Canadian environmentalists as part of the official delegation, I understand that has changed, is that correct?"


"That's right. In the past the official Canadian delegation would bring along stakeholders from industry and environmental groups. As of this meeting, they are no long doing that. So, it really does restrict the amount of information and points of view that the Canadian delegation has access to. The environmental groups obviously have a lot to contribute in terms of their expertise and their take on how to tackle climate change, how to work with other delegations to actually move forward on international delegations. Canada really isn't taking a leadership role, and now we have been excluded from the official delegation."

This move is akin to removing lawyers from constitutional talks. These people are the experts, this is their discipline, the issues are complex and their guidance is required, to make sound judgements. To deny these groups a place in the official Canadian delegation makes Canada look amateurish and silly. These groups will still walk the corridors and speak with people, but the government has effectively removed their clout to influence the process.

When you combine our failure to submit proposals and our alarming removal of scientists from the delegation, you have to conclude that our presence is nothing more than a public relations exercise, to allay fears at home, rather than Canada involving itself in serious talks. I suspect other nations will see through the veneer , and once again, the Conservative government will embarrass Canada, within a body that once had nothing but respect and admiration. "Canada is back" alright Mr. Harper, to the back of the line apparently.


knb said...

I saw the interview too Steve and couldn't believe it, but was not surprised.

Thank goodness they are there though. They will have input and will be able to report back.

I've been saying it forever, but I am convinced that this government is intent on getting out of Kyoto all together and are poised to join, the name escapes me now, but the group that includes Australia and the US. I'm certain that they have spoken and that is the lean.

It's times like this that I think we do need an election, but at the same time, I think let more info come out.

btw, I'm halfway through the book on Dion and there is much more to this man than I even thought. I won't review at this point, but will say, he's led a fascinating life and anyone who makes him out to be weak, is making a mistake.

Steve V said...

Asia-Pacific Partnership :) Baird keeps saying that we can be part of Kyoto moving forward, and even had the audacity to suggest Canada can participate in Kyoto's Clean Development Mechanism, under the Green Plan. The Tories just keep the allure of Kyoto for domestic consumption, everything Marshall said serves as proof that they have no intention of joining the international community.

knb said...

Thx, ;). You're right, the con's just keep it out there, (Kyoto), as if it exists, but they have no intention of contributing.

When you think of what standard Dion held Canada to at these meetings and then see us today, it's stunning. The world must think we are crazy, or, they just acknowledge we now have a right wing, aligned with Bush and Howard, government.

Where did Canada go? I'm sure that is what they say.

Steve V said...

"Where did Canada go?"

From chair to nowhere. I wish the media would do more reporting on international reaction, because Canadians do take pride in our reputation, and I'm not sure people of aware of the damage these people are doing.

sassy said...

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) 2006 Annual Report
show Canada’s contributions for the past three years
2004 – 1,984,890
2005 – 2,058,894
2006 – 792.008

Note the drop (2005-2006) year under the “New” Canadian Government”.

It was also interesting to read in this report that Canada is NOT on the list of 61 countries who have pledged additional support for 2007

Mentarch said...

The Canadian neocons continue to play their (con)games with regards to Climate Change because they want to stay in line with their American counterparts.

Steve V said...


I couldn't get the link to work, but I followed the title. Canada sticks out in a shameful way, even when compared with the Americans.

sassy said...


Your link goes to the same information (an extract from the full 87 page report).

If interested in the full report try and follow the links to "reports")

Yes, it is shameful and but at least consistent with "Conservatives Embarrass Canada" - something (consistency) we don't get from the Harper gov. very often.

Anonymous said...


Dale Marshall an expert? Of what?

As far as I can tell he is only a talking head of some note. I googled him and found him to be a media sound bite as far back as 2003. What are his credentials?

His being on QP bounced me right off the left wall. He is in Boon to... a)catch media attention, b)try to embarrass his government by catching media attention, or c)to complain about his not being on the official dog tag list so that he can embarrass his government and catch media attention, or d) all of the above.

Steve give us all a break. This guy is a religious zealot. You wouldn't give Oral Roberts 5 minutes of your time, why are you giving this guy any?


Anonymous said...

The David Suzuki foundation will continue to embarrass Canada regardless of what any government does to prostrate itself in front of them.

No nation takes the Kyoto scheme seriously, no nation has made any sacrifice whatsoever to implement the scheme - and it is highly unlikely any nation ever will.

What they will do is make grand statements and sign beautifully written agreements at posh conferences promising that they will bend over backwards at some far off future date.

Steve V said...

"Steve give us all a break. This guy is a religious zealot. You wouldn't give Oral Roberts 5 minutes of your time, why are you giving this guy any?"

Tomm, give me a break. I notice you don't argue the substance of what Marshall said. Was he lying about the delegation or the submisssions? I could care less is he is a talking head, the organization he is representing is credible. You are engaging in the dodge and weave.


"What they will do is make grand statements and sign beautifully written agreements at posh conferences"

What a foolish attitude.

Ti-Guy said...

Tomm, give me a break. I notice you don't argue the substance of what Marshall said.

And that, along with "Conservatives embarrass Canada" is the consistency we can expect, as was noted earlier. It's dreary of course, but c'est la vie.

It's obvious Harper wants to secure the prosperity locked up in Canada's petroleum resources; resources that are only exploitable economically within the traditional industrial order and he and his henchmen simply will not let the will of Canadians intrude in his grand plans.

He's doing this on behalf of the corporations who own him. He may be fooling himself into thinking it's all "for our own good" but this anti-democratic process is illegitimate, particularly for a minority government. He either has to change gears, or get out.