Tuesday, July 24, 2007

John Baird: "Slum Landlord"

"Leading the world", but can't seem to pay the bills at home. The war on environmental groups continues:
Environmental organizations in Nova Scotia are decrying funding delays from Ottawa, with one comparing the environment minister to a "slum landlord" for refusing to fix a problem that is reaching across Canada.

Nine groups, including the Ecology Action Centre, Clean Nova Scotia and the provincial branch of the Sierra Club, held a news conference in Halifax today to describe how they have been affected as they wait for money that normally arrives in April.

Environment Minister John Baird's office has said the delays aren't unusual, but Stephen Hawboldt of the Clean Annapolis River Project says the past two years mark the first time in two decades that funding has been delayed.

Gretchen Fitzgerald of the Sierra Club says Baird is acting like a "slum landlord,"

The delays aren't unusual, they're just unprecedented. Gross incompetence, or concerted effort to undermine established environmental groups?


Scotian said...

With this crew I could see a little from column A and a lot from column B myself.

Steve V said...

My read too Scotian :) Heavy on the B.

Mark Dowling said...

call me an ole fuddyduddy but I don't know why Ottawa funds such third party groups at all... I like the George Soros Open Society Institute model - three years of money and after that find your own. I'd much rather Ottawa put such funding into project spending.

Steve V said...


Fair point, except this in this circumstance, groups make plans based on the funding, which is assumed. If you want to change the rules, then you have to have a plan to ween, you don't say nothing and just let it bleed.

Unknown said...

Steve V,

It's funny that you used the word ween. I guess even the readers of this blog realize that groups like Sierra Club et al. suck at the teat of Ottawa.

I recently turned down a job to work on a government funded job to assess water pollution (I'm an engineer), the reason I gave them "I don't ever rely on government funding to pay my bills". Good thing I did, the program was scrapped and I would have had to look for another job. Instead I took a job with a green energy consulting company that's booming, all thanks to private industry (while also helping the environment).

If the Sierra Club et al. were really doing a good job in protecting the environment they would probably have enough private donations to keep them going without money from a government that they consistently lobby against.

This is just like Status of Women, only one year later. Why fund a private lobby group which will make your job harder?