You've got to love headlines like this. Conservative Environment Minister John Baird's performance at Bali last week was no doubt completely orchestrated by the Harper PMO, hoping Canadians, busy with the holidays, wouldn't notice. It was well-noted over the weekend how Baird skipped out on crucial negotiations in Bali, sending bureaucrats instead with no power to bargain or deviate from Stephen Harper's obstructionist stance.
With regime change a certainty in the United States next year, wouldn't it be nice to beat the Americans at first electing a leader for whom real action on climate change is a greater priority? I would love to see a press conference in early 2009 with Prime Minister Stephane Dion and President Al Gore or Barack Obama talking about how Canada and the U.S. are working together to save the planet from environmental catastrophe, not scheming to find ways to speed it up...
Here's an excerpt from Chantal Hebert's great article today:
"At every step of the way, Canada was portrayed – by its domestic critics and its international counterparts – as a leading voice for the obstructionist camp. Its insistence that it was not undermining an activist international consensus on climate change was undercut by its obvious isolation. It is hard to argue that one is building bridges when they so obviously lead nowhere.
"For the Harper government, the Bali meeting could have been an opportunity to square the circle of its repositioning on the environment, by stepping in front of the upcoming American parade. Instead it locked itself in step with a moribund administration.
"For as long as the debate was focused on the Kyoto Protocol, blaming the Liberals for Canada's lagging climate change record was a credible Conservative mantra. But last week, the debate shifted to the future and, with the spotlight squarely on them, the Conservatives were only too easily portrayed as climate change isolationists rather than activists."