Some businesses are becoming hesitant about investing in Canada because of the "policy chaos" on climate change being created by the federal and provincial governments, says the head of the country's top business group.
In a letter to provincial leaders being released Monday in advance of the premiers' two-day meeting in Vancouver, Tom d'Aquino of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives chides the premiers for going it alone on climate change with "different objectives and often inconsistent policies".
" They're all over the map . . . it's policy chaos," he said in an interview.
"We're talking about issues that will have a profound impact on major industries and ultimately Canadian consumers, and if you (governments) all moving in different directions it means you have overlapping regulations, conflicting relations."
D'Aquino called on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to convene a series of first ministers' conferences on climate change, saying the issue is among the most critical challenges facing the country.
The reason provinces are "going it alone", in a myriad of directions, is because Canada lacks a cohesive policy, the domain of the federal government. The Conservatives have failed to listen to the provinces, Alberta excluded, and this reality has forced different jurisdictions to adopt their own frameworks. In the absence of federal leadership, Canada is creating "chaos".
Further evidence of the disarray, Ed Stelmach can't even bother to show up for a Premier's discussion on climate change:
Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach will attend today's portion of the two-day meeting in Vancouver, which will focus mainly on provincial trade barriers. But he will not be at tomorrow's session, where many of the premiers are hoping to strike a national accord on how to deal with the fallout from global warming.
Mr. Olsen said he is not attending the climate change talks because, "he has lots of work to do in Alberta."
The federal government's failure to deal with the elephant in the room, allows for such arrogance on the part of Stelmach, allows for other provinces to react unilaterally. This government needs to step in and set the agenda, hopefully the emerging complaints from the business community prompt some action, because that interest group would appear to have Harper's ear. What we see now, is a complete and utter joke, amateurish, and above all, anything but serious.