Sunday, June 01, 2008

A New Dynamic

Hot Air Baird was spewing the usual on QP today, I think he actually believes it now. What was new, today marked the first time I can remember hearing a Conservative taking potshots at the Quebec Premier. Now granted, Baird was making his comments within the typical jabs at Ontario, but he accused Charest of inaction:
"Both of these Premiers have been in power for five years, and haven't done anything to get the big polluters to cut their GHG emissions."

"The Montreal exchange launched a carbon market, it was in response to the federal government's regulator measures, and because the two provincial governments of the central Canadian provinces don't have a plan to force the big polluters to clean up their act."

Charest has done "nothing" in five years, quite a statement on a possible new realignment in Canadian politics. People will recall the various meetings with Charest, as Harper tried to stengthen Conservative fortunes in Quebec. During the first year in office, photo ops, what appeared to be a good relationship. Baird's comments today, are indicative of a clear cooling.

Quebec and Ontario working more closely together, creates another rift in a distancing relationship. You now have a situation where the federal government is criticizing the Quebec government, woven within the tension between Ottawa and Queen's Park. Wouldn't it be something if Charest was asked to respond to Baird's you've "done nothing in five years" crack? Up until now, any disagreement has been buried in diplomatic niceties, Baird essentially calls Charest out.

Moving forward, if a sense develops that the two biggest provinces are finding common ground, effectively defending the same postion, directly at odds with the federal government, we might just see more sniping, as the former relationship sours just enough to be problematic. On the environment, and a more co-ordinated attack on the lack of action for the respective economies. A new dynamic, and one that doesn't work to the Conservatives advantage.


burlivespipe said...

But it does fit their own 'action plan', since Harper and his CONs will take no action until everyone else has crossed that bridge. They said as much in Bali and everywhere else...

bigcitylib said...

Did you note the origonal CTV headline? Baird "sneers", later redacted. Sounds like he must have been really over the top.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that you do not note that the two Liberal premiers of the two largest provinces where the Liberals need to maintain and acquire new seats have REJECTED Mr. Dion's carbon tax and favour the NDP cap and trade approach.

I agree that a realignment in QC may be in the works but I wouldn't be gleeful about it if I were a Liberal activist.

The Charest/Dion enviro message will reinforce the NDP narrative come election time.

JimBobby said...

Whooee! I don't see this as a rejection of a carbon tax. In many European and Scandinavian jurisdictions, carbon taxes and cap-and-trade work side-by-side to reduce GHG's.

McGuinty has said he prefers the cap-and-trade tactic but I can't recall any quotes where he's rejected or even REJECTED a carbon tax.

If I purchase a new sofa, that does not mean I REJECT chairs. It simply means that I am adding one component to my living room seating capacity.

The Green Party is calling for a multi-pronged approach with two of those prongs being a carbon tax and sector by sector cap-and-trade implementation. Most observers and experts seem to think each system has merit. Proponents of each argue as to which is faster to implement.

In an interview last week, Iggy broadly hinted that the Grits will include cap and trade in their tax shift proposal.

The only ones who are REJECTING actions known to be positive are the NDP and the Con's. The NDP's rejection of a carbon tax flies in the face of EU experience and Kyoto target-meeting results.

Only the Con's are rejecting cap-and-trade and rejecting a carbon tax. Their plan: wait until after the US election to see what their masters dictate. Stall, obfuscate, nit-pick, demonise, scare and promote the status quo.

It is a well known fact that the federal government is the most effective arm of government when it comes to applying and collecting taxes. Outside of Quebec, we use the federal government to collect provincial income tax as well as most taxes. Also, wrt the revenue neutral tax shift idea, the provinces don't collect enough income tax to make a revenue neutral carbon tax a well-funded environmental solution.


Steve V said...

"Interesting that you do not note that the two Liberal premiers of the two largest provinces where the Liberals need to maintain and acquire new seats have REJECTED Mr. Dion's carbon tax and favour the NDP cap and trade approach. "

I don't know how many times you need to mention that it isn't an either or proposition, but if that's the lame talking point, carry on.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but whenever Baird has flared nostrels and his mouth open like that - I'd love to see a fly go in his mouth.

Anonymous said...

...or better yet - something cylindrical!

Miles Lunn said...

Baird's comments would be funny if they weren't so serious. Ideally the federal government should take action, but in the absence, then the provinces need to step up to the plate. I also heard somewhere he called Alberta a leader in dealing with climate change, which shows even more just how stupid his statement was. If the provincial governments actually succeed at making changes without wreaking the economy, that will rip his plan to pieces.

Besides, there are plenty of centre-right leaders who believe in dealing with climate change. Gordon Campbell, Arnold Schwartznegger, David Cameron (British Tory leader), Nicholas Sarkozy, and Angela Merkel just to name a few and none of these are tax and spend liberals or socialist as Harper/Baird would like us to believe for those who support dealing with climate change.