Monday, December 03, 2007


In a desperate attempt to shore up support in Quebec, the government has turned to former PQ Premier Pierre-Marc Johnson, making him a lead advisor for the Bali climate change talks. Upon reading Johnson’s viewpoint, it would appear the Conservatives are pulling another “Manley” by recruiting someone who already shares the government position, but gives the appearance of non-partisanship. Johnson effectively repeats the government line, which means his voice is irrelevant:
Mr. Johnson said in an interview that one of the chief priorities of the talks must be to get China, India and the United States to come into a new framework. He added that Canada can play a significant role in bringing the United States into the mix.
“Obviously I believe that China, India and the U.S. … have to be in the post-Kyoto process,” he said.
He added, however, that not all nations have to have the same targets. A new framework can allow for differentiation “and maybe we have to recognize that.”

Johnson endorses the Conservative position of Canada is “special”, when he argues for flexible targets, depending on national circumstance. With that perspective in mind, Johnson is merely a rubber stamp for a pre-determined position. Nothing new, no wider opinion, just simple parroting of the Harper/Baird rhetoric.

With Johnson’s views already know, I doubt this public relations exercise will have much sway with Quebecers. The broader point, Johnson represents confirmation that Canada’s role in the talks will be to water down any movement for firm, consistent targets. All this appointment means, the “saboteurs” have found another conscript to argue their position.


wilson said...

IMO the saboteurs are those railing against getting ALL countries to sign on.
IMO Dion fears that Harper will be successfull in getting a GLOBAL agreement.

Dion's competency numbers (Nik) dropped 11% over the Schreiber affair. (Jack is smiling)
Taking a 3 ring circus to Bali will not improve his numbers. Keep your fingers crossed Dion doesn't have one of his hissyfits on the world stage.

Steve V said...


Such nonsense, per usual.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

This is transparently an attempt to blunt this: Quebec to stand up for Kyoto even if Ottawa won't.

The legislature of Quebec has made it clear (unanimously) that they intend for their pro-Kyoto message to be heard at Bali, no matter what the Cons say. So Harper chooses a spokesperson from Quebec, to try to blunt that fact that Quebec's going to be there attacking him.

I guess it's smart, but it's also pretty transparent.

JimBobby said...

Whooee! Howcum we don't worry about gettin' ALL countries to sign the anti-landmine treaty. THe gummint just announced they're pumpin' an additional $50 million into landmine eradication. But... but... but... the Americans never signed on to the anti-landmine treaty. Landmines are still being produced and deployed all over the world.

Why should Canadians throw money away when the US and other big landmine producers are ezempt from regulation? Why should decent, taxpaying Canadian weapons manufacturers be cut out of lucrative international landmine trade?

Canada cannot clear all of the world's landmines. We might be able to eliminate 2% of all landmines. It's simply not fair for us to bear a disproportionate burden. Landmines are a GLOBAL problem and without the big players involved, the anti-landmine treaty is a big mistake -- the type of mistake the world must never make again.


Anonymous said...

What an easy "out" for Harper - hoping all countries will join "his" plan.

Not likely to happen - so, he has a ready made excuse for doing nadda.

Stand up for Canada? Using a "separtists?

Wilson - opposition leaders have a history of polling low - so this means nadda.

Steve V said...


Please don't try to introduce logically consistency into the equation :)


I think it is so transparent, that it will have no impact whatsoever. Besides, it isn't as though Johnson is a beloved, towering figure in Quebec.

ottlib said...

"Johnson endorses the Conservative position of Canada is “special”, when he argues for flexible targets, depending on national circumstance."

If there is anybody who is well schooled in whining about a certain political jurisdiction being "special" and not bound by the same rules, etc. as everybody else it is a former PQ Premier.

I wonder if when the rest of the world throws cold water on the Harper government's proposal Mr. Johnson will threaten to separate Canada from Earth.

Steve V said...


The Australians were given a round of applause today, when news came out that they would sign on to Kyoto. If the Cons think Johnson will save their bacon in Quebec, then they are delusional.

burlivespipe said...

And the ideal of 'leading by example' continues to be turned on its head by Harper's CONs, drafting the likes of separatist Johnson to deliver a faux 'Canada is united' message on this meme.
Curiously funny, this strategy is.
We'll just station Johnson outside the bathroom to get a few minutes with the Chinese leaders and pray for the best. Maybe he'll take up the battle for Taiwan, while he's at it.