Thursday, November 02, 2006

More Excited Than Worried

It's too early to draw any conclusions, and I think it important to maintain some level of skepticism, but I don't share the "apprehension" about where Layton's environmental powerplay will lead. The Pembina Institute issued the following press release on Tuesday:
Canadians should look to the opposition parties for federal leadership on reducing the emissions that cause global warming, the Pembina Institute and the David Suzuki Foundation said today...

"This government has run out of excuses," says Dale Marshall, climate change policy analyst with the David Suzuki Foundation. "The old lament that we can't afford to do anything about climate change has been hit with the cold, hard economic fact that we have to take action now or suffer dire economic consequences in the near future. In light of the government's failure to act with urgency on climate change, the good work by Canada's opposition parties is crucial in protecting Canadians from dangerous climate change."

Environmentalist groups have articulated some confidence in the opposition parties. Are we not now in a situation where the opposition dictates the parameters of this legislation? A quick quote from Duceppe sets the tone and should further allay any fears:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper agreed to an NDP request yesterday that the Clean Air Act go straight to committee before second reading, a procedural option that means MPs are free to amend the bill in any way they wish.

"We want to respect Kyoto's targets," Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe said. "We'll clean the Clean Air Act. Be sure of that. Stephen Harper won't recognize what he's proposing."

Duceppe denotes an opposition ready to roll up its sleeves and radically alter this legislation. I'm not an expert on parliamentary procedures, but it would appear the opposition now has carte blanche to do what they wish, with the Tories unable to prevent a massive overhaul. Isn't this an opportunity? If environmentalists have "confidence" in the opposition on Tuesday, shouldn't we welcome the fact that they control the agenda on Thursday?


Karen said...

I don't know enough about procedure to know how it works. To hear Ambrose tonight, she still spoke as if she controlled the agenda, ie: "We're fine with setting targets, so long as they are achievable". Well based on their plan, we don't know what that criteria is.

I suppose it could end with a bill, originated by the Con's, that they don't support. That would be interesting.

I'm also curious as to what the Lib's will offer. The leadership candidates all have policies, I suppose the opposition Lib's still have what Dion had put together before the gov't fell, but is that what he is now proposing? Can they use that? It's very confusing. Oh, and what of the Lib bill that Rodriguez put forward re' Kyoto?

Steve, I sincerely hope this works out well, for Canada and the globe. I think the comments you put forward are important. I really do hope it's "roll up the sleeves" time as it's long overdue.

Steve V said...

I guess the government can just kill the bill, which is still a losing proposition for them, because I think Canadians will respond to the amendments.