Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Understanding The Tory Environmental Plan

Finally, the government has clarified it's environmental plan to the world. Today, Rona Ambrose laid out Canada's vision in a clear and concise way. Come to think of it, the Tory plan has been well known for sometime, but today cemented the philosophy. Our plan- blame the previous government, throw up your arms and try to make inaction look urgent.

It's not just Ambrose's vision, it's also the plan of the Tory rank and file. Have you noticed in every online discussion, the requisite Tory apologist argument can't devote two sentences to the debate without a tirade against the past government. Instead of a positive alternative, we get "the Liberals failed", "Ambrose inherited the Liberal mess", "emissions rose blah blah under the Liberal regime". Objectively true, but entirely irrelevant to any discussion about the Tory approach. The Liberals failed, we get it, let's move forward. The easy counter, what exactly were the Tories doing during all those years of failure? The NDP was busy formulating a plan. The Greens and Bloc have extensive policy positions. Even the Liberals were a work in progress during the last year of government. Apparently, in true conservative fashion, much of the Tory approach was simply a bashfest against a foe, without offering anything constructive as alternative.

Judging by the reaction, Ambrose's five minute partisan nothingness today was a complete failure. Did Ambrose think she was at a Tory fundraiser in Pincher Creek? The international community could care less about our partisan politics, what they want to hear is simple- what are your solutions? Everyone is quite willing to give Canada a relative pass on its nearterm targets, because they understand the challenges. It is Ambrose's job to articulate those challenges, while simultaneously presenting a path for progress. It is Ambrose's job to give the world community some confidence in Canada that we are serious about our emissions. However, the world is now realizing what Canadians already know, our plan is demonize the Liberals, shirk any responsibility and offer platitudes to cloud the future.

Quite frankly, this is crap:
"There are some who are using the Kyoto Protocol to create divisions within our country, but we will not let that happen," Ambrose said. "Canada has one target and we all share the responsibility to work together to fulfill our obligations."

She did not mention that the Conservative government has rejected Canada's current target under the Kyoto Protocol as unachievable, and has yet to name a new one.

"When Canada's new government assumed office this year, we found an unacceptable situation," she said. "We found that measures to address climate change by previous Canadian governments were insufficient and unaccountable.

"Years after signing and ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, Canada still had not implemented a domestic plan to address climate change."

Environmentalists and critics from all three opposition parties said it was inappropriate to use the UN conference for partisan purposes, and accused the minister of factual inaccuracies.

Ambrose actually used the word "urgent" to describe the situation.
urgent- compelling or requiring immediate action or attention; imperative; pressing: an urgent matter.

Pick your date, 2025, 2015, 2010, none of which applies to a sense of urgency. The government already has the necessary legislative tools to implement a plan. The government has consulted with industry for the past decade regarding the environment. Our approach is more closely aligned with this word:
tentative-Not fully worked out, concluded, or agreed on; provisional, uncertain

Partisan Conservatives can argue forever about political motivations, but they can't deny the objective view of our partners. The reason everyone is attacking Canada now is simple, our plan is SHIT. What a disgrace to use an international forum to place blame and offer nothing but smoke and mirrors as an alternative. Some friendly advice for Tory apologists- blaming the Liberals might have worked this time last year, but YOU ARE THE GOVERNMENT NOW, have been for awhile, DO SOMETHING. "Made in Canada"= "Blame The Other Guy".


Idealistic Pragmatist said...

The Liberals failed, we get it, let's move forward. The easy counter, what exactly were the Tories doing during all those years of failure?

Bingo. I mean, I certainly don't want to excuse the Liberals' failure, but at least they knew the environment existed. The Tories didn't think for one minute about the environment until they got into power, at which point it was all about optics, not one whit about action. It's appalling.

Saskboy said...

Well said, you're getting linked to by me from my Rona posting today.

Karen said...

Really well said Steve...can't add a thing.

You brought it down to sitting across the table from you and left your guest speechless. Well done.

Steve V said...

Quite telling that on page 37 of the 46 page Tory blue book(third of a page), where the platform finally mentions the environment, the text starts with "For all the Liberal talk about the environment.." When you have nothing, attack.

Oxford County Liberals said...

C'mon Steve.. give the Tories a break.

Only 6985 more days til they set climate targets.. can't you be patient?????

Steve V said...


You're right. Polar bears are over-rated anyways.

Anonymous said...

I read your post today, and agree with some of the good points that you have made. However, i also believe that changes can't be made so they immedately make our country's enviroment better. What we really need is an innovative plan that starts taking actions towards a better enviroment today, so that big changes may be noticed later on. I also believe that we need to really recognize and do something about our dependancy on automobiles. It's hard to help the envioment when we keep spitting out crap into it.

Do you know of what the Bloc and NDP stances are exactly? It is obvious that the kyoto protol hasn't been working, so i would like to learn more about the approach of the others.

Saskboy said...

Anon, you can start here: they technically support Kyoto, but would be in favour of approaches that enhance the benefits, and exceed the goals, even if they take a couple years longer to bring about.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

The NDP's "Climate Change Accountability Act" bill is here. It's meant to work in tandem with the Liberal bill--which they also supported--which was about achieving Kyoto targets.

Steve V said...

"However, i also believe that changes can't be made so they immedately make our country's enviroment better."

That's reasonable, and I think our Kyoto partners understand that reality. If Canada wishes to go beyond Kyoto with its own innovations, I don't see the tension, because afterall it's all about targets.

wayward son said...

"It is obvious that the kyoto protol hasn't been working"

The kyoto protocol has been working in places where they actually attempted to make it work - like the UK where they made a committment to an 8% cut and last I read they have made cuts of 22 or 23%.

Similarly people have said that cuts will take some time. But lets not forget that a lot of policies could be put in place today to ensure that cuts will come quickly. Reducing taxes to 0 on hybrid cars today would have an effect very quickly, and boost production of energy efficient cars almost immediately.