What has essentially happened today, 2/3rds of the country have just rendered the federal government irrelevant on the environmental file. Dragging their heels, playing games with numbers and baselines, creating a leadership vacuum, all are responsible for today's announcement, it really is a conclusion of their own making. A large portion of Canada now has a framework based on real reductions, not the nonsensical "intensity" based copout offered by the Conservatives. The door is open for others to join, and I suspect they will, as these provincial governments look to the future:
"One of the reasons we got together is that we think we can go further, faster," McGuinty told Canada AM Monday. "The feds have failed to put forward a plan in keeping with the ambitions and aspirations of Canadians."
Charest told Canada AM that the two provinces are pushing forward with a carbon cap-and-trade system because that's the way most of the world is going.
Charest noted that Quebec and Ontario use the 1990 carbon benchmark acknowledged by most of the world, whereas the federal government uses a 2006 benchmark.
Emilie Moorhouse, executive director of the Sierra Club, said the federal government is being "left in the dust."
"I think the collaboration that we're seeing between the provinces effectively renders the Harper government's approach to climate change obsolete," Moorhouse told CTV Newsnet...
Their cap-and-trade system trumps the Harper government's climate-change plan, one that has been criticized for not going far enough to combat global warming.
"We are very much open to expanding this and ideally, this would serve as the foundation for a national cap-and-trade program," Mr. McGuinty said.
"This is hardly an exclusive club that we are putting together here. I know that in the past, representatives of B.C. and Manitoba have expressed some interest in this, and Jean and I would want to work hard together with our colleagues to lay down the foundation."
"Left in the dust", "Obsolete", "Trumps", no wonder Hot Air Baird was fuming, there is nowhere to hide.
A very good synopsis.
Looking at the political angle, NDP supporters will be sure to note the endorsement of their approach. Important to remember, Charest already has a carbon tax, proving that no approach is mutually exclusive. I would also add B.C. is cited as a possible future partner to today's initiative, again suggesting the folly in either/or arguments. Where all of this leaves the Liberals, remains to be seen, but I suspect people have already factored this to the policy development, Dalton would hardly leave brother David out in the cold.
What is perfectly clear today, the mirage of "leading the world" has evaporated, more rightly the "obstacle has been removed", or just bypassed, as the case may be.