It's customary for Canada's prime minister to address the opening of the UN General Assembly each fall. The fact that Harper is talking at the summit instead is testament to the issue's importance to Canadians and Conservative political fortunes.
A Harper spokeswoman chalked it up partly to scheduling conflicts but noted the environment is a priority of the minority government.
Not a “testament to the issue’s importance”, more aptly a fill-in speech, to substitute for a no-show at the General Assembly- how inspirational and sincere.
Let’s just hope the media develops a more critical eye with this speech, because we already know the arguments in advance. Harper will position himself as the great bridge, bringing the world community together for action. All that rhetoric evaporates, as soon as you introduce the word “voluntary”, or “aspirational”, so let’s call a spade a spade. What this speech represents is another venue for Harper to sell himself at home, more “leading the world” frame, which has no relationship to actual substance. Why is the United Nations giving Harper this forum to further undermine the idea of hard targets and set goals, replacing the concept with the nothingness of “we pledge to do something, someday, at our own pace and without interference”?