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.