Friday, September 12, 2008

Attention: Policy Announcement

Oh, the media class, lamenting the problem on the one hand, active participant on the other. Joan Bryden on the CBC, complained that Dion' announcement today was too heavy on substance, too involved, too deep. I wonder how many times Bryden has sat around with her media friends, discussing the dumbing down of our political discourse, expressing disgust at retail politics, the age of the soundbite, the failings of our leadership to tackle big problems. I don't want to hear anymore pontifications from the media elite, they have the audacity to chastize someone who isn't slick, isn't "catchy", isn't all those things they supposed look upon with a cynical eye. More and more, I'm viewing this election in the abstract, as a referendum on the media and their phony outrage, a contrast between what we say we want and what we really deserve.

Anyways, I thought Mr. Dion offered sound policy today, which demonstrated a consistent vision for the future, another piece to the puzzle, that could put Canada on a modern path to economic sustainability. The details:
“The average Canadian homeowner can reduce the amount of energy their home uses by 20 to 40 per cent,” said Mr. Dion at a visit to the Pine Ridge Housing Co-operative. “A Liberal government will provide significant incentives to Canadians to help them retrofit their homes to reduce their heating costs and their greenhouse gas emissions.”

A Liberal government will invest $575 million over four years to:

double direct financial support to $10,000 for any household that invests in energy-saving measures like insulation, weatherproofing and efficient heating systems; provide interest-free green mortgage loans of up to $10,000 per household to help Canadians pay for the up-front costs of major energy-saving home retrofits; and
create a $140-million Low-income Homes Retrofit Partnership Fund to help upgrade low-income housing across Canada – including federally-funded co-operative housing – and reduce energy costs for those least able to pay.

“Our objective is to retrofit 50 per cent of all homes in Canada by 2020 and 100 per cent by 2030 because not only is reducing energy use in Canadians’ homes critical in the fight against global warming, it will also directly benefit Canadian families, who will see their energy bills drop,” said Mr. Dion. “In addition, these incentives will create jobs in an economy that is facing uncertain times.

Mr Dion also did a presser afterwards, and the topic of the day was rising fossil fuel prices. Dion offered a frank assessment, which we would be wise to heed, if we care about the future, both in terms of the environment, and maybe more important, our economy:
But the main reason and Mr. Harper knows that very well, the main reason why the price of oil is set to go up and in ten years, 20 years from now we'll look at the price of 2008 and we'll say wow it was the good old times, is because humanity needs more and more oil. You have a demand that is booming much faster than the supply. Especially the traditional supply. So the countries that foresee that, the country that give to themselves the possibilities to be more energy efficient are the winning countries of the 21st century. And the world will buy their solutions...

Now it's time to understand and most Canadians understand that energy efficiency is the way to be profitable. It is the way also to do the right thing for the planet, that we need to lower the cost and the dependency that we have for this kind of fuel, and to develop other sources of energy, other ways to do -- like this co-op who wants to go to geothermal but find the cost very costly. It's what we need to do. And only the liberal plan will allow us to go there.

Dion's entire premise is too shift the market, to give clean energy an advantage, to allow them the opportunity to compete. What alternatives ultimately win out, will be left to ingenuity and simple economics, the plan merely establishes the playing field, it doesn't pick winners. What Dion understands, and this is quite true, in 10 years, we will look at 1.35 a litre gas as the "good ole days", it's inevitable, it's real and we need to make some drastic changes to ensure our future viability. Contrast that approach with Harper's nothingness, more reliance on traditional sources, and it becomes clear which direction our economy MUST move.

Dion understands the reality, and the more we see of the Liberal plan, the more it becomes apparent, that he wants to have all sectors moving in concert towards a new paradigm. So, instead of bitching and moaning about "details", maybe the media can get serious for a second, this is our future prosperity and it demands some complexity. Don't run a special "in depth" feature like a novelty, where you actually spend 10 minutes drilling down into the real issues, make it a habit.

I listened to the CBC today, they are tracking voters from across the country. You know what there unanimous complaint was today- the lack of substance, the sense that everything we hear about is largely irrelevant, what about the issues? Little do they know, someone is discussing the issues, in great detail, an overarching progressive philosophy to move the nation forward. They don't know this fact, because it's CRICKETS from the media, apparently they can't swim in the deep end and sneer at those that dare.




Anonymous said...

Read the Flanagan Q&A in the Globe today. Fascinating stuff. It appears even he did not know that Harper was such a big piano buff!

Anonymous said...

Many in the news media, but not all, rely solely on bright shiny things to catch their attention - like Puffin-poop. If they have to, you know, actually pay attention to something substantial, they just go all glassy-eyed.

Somebody should be keeping a tally of glassy-eyed journalists.

Gayle said...

You don't understand, if the media have to take more than a coupleminutes to figure it out, it is "too complicated" for the average Canadian.

Anonymous said...

Well, good thing to know that's the comprehension benchmark. Wonder how real journalists do it.

Frankly Canadian said...

Again Steve, you have hit the nail on the head with this one, let's just hope Candians come through on their end by voting the proper people from the correct parties in.

Anonymous said...

Canadians will have to make adjustments and go green. Liberals will help them pay, Cons will not.
It's not complicated.