Environment Minister Baird on the defensive


sanctus
#1





By Michael Oliveira
TORONTO (CP) - A consumer show for so-called green living proved hostile territory Friday for Environment Minister John Baird as he and his plan for combating greenhouse gases came under fire from environmentalists and an old political foe.
It was a smiling Baird who stood alongside Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty as they kicked off the show by blessing a tree. The pleasantries, however, ended with the photo op and Baird quickly found himself surrounded by critics.
"John Baird had the nerve to come to an environmental show today after ... introducing the most disastrous and shameful climate plan," Dave Martin of Greenpeace Canada said after Baird walked off the stage.
The first to confront Baird was environmentalist David Suzuki, who cut a path through the crowd at the Green Living consumer show and got in the minister's face to share his two cents.
"It's a disappointment, John," Suzuki said.
A swarm of reporters eavesdropped as Baird countered: "This is more action than any government in Canadian history has ever taken."
Suzuki was unmoved by the minister's words and replied, "It's not enough John, you know there's a lot of opportunity. Please come and see us."
Baird replied, "we're very happy to," before walking away.
Suzuki went on to call the federal government's plan a national embarrassment and proof the Conservatives are out of touch with Canadians.
"This plan is a terrible disappointment to me. No, I would say it's more than that. It's a sham, it sets weak targets that will fall far short of the Kyoto Protocol," Suzuki said.
A promising meeting with Baird last week raised expectations, he added.
"He promised all kinds of great things and it's been a big disappointment to see what it is. It's all smoke and mirrors," Suzuki said. "And I think it's really shameful."
Baird and McGuinty then traded barbs through duelling press conferences, with the Ontario premier promising to trump the federal plan with his own climate change strategy to be released this spring.
"It falls short of Canadian expectations. I think we can reach further and we intend to do that here in Ontario," McGuinty said.
Baird, who was a Tory member of the Ontario legislature before moving to federal politics in 2006, countered that people should be skeptical of the Liberal premier's promises.
"I was minister of energy in Ontario four years ago when (McGuinty, then in opposition) promised to close all the coal-fired electricity plants - but it couldn't be done," Baird said.
"And four years later, we still have more than 6,000 megawatts of electricity capacity in Ontario from the coal-fired (generation)."
Baird said he's confident his plan will be executed - unlike McGuinty's coal promise - and called on the premier to make some specific commitments for the environment.
"If the premier thinks these figures aren't tough enough, I challenge him to bring in legislation today to be tougher," Baird said.
But it's Baird and the Conservatives who need to toughen up their approach on the environment or risk losing the next election, said Julia Langer of World Wildlife Fund Canada.
"They should go back and take the pulse of public opinion a little more carefully and come back with a better plan," she said.
Suzuki agreed, and said Prime Minister Stephen Harper's new focus on green issues shows that he recognizes its importance with voters.
"This is going to be a major political issue, you can bet on that ... and this is the only reason the Harper government has brought this onto the agenda in the first place," Suzuki said.
"The public has put it on the agenda. (Harper's) a very smart politician, he knows very well that this is not an issue that's going to disappear."
Baird insisted that the government has full confidence in the plan and that the standards are as stringent as any other in the world.
"We'll be a model of the world for regulation of greenhouse gases (and) smog and pollution," he said. "We're the only government around the world who's regulating both, in a mandatory fashion, for all our large industries."
Dubbed "Turning the Corner," the Conservative government strategy focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality.
Everything from the efficiency of household dishwashers to the carbon dioxide emissions of Alberta's oil sands will fall under new regulations over the next several years.
Still, the plan failed to spell out precisely what many of those regulations will look like.


Copyright © 2007 Canadian Press
 
Liberalman
#2

This environmental bill will guarantee a Conservative majority.
 
snfu73
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by Liberalman View Post

This environmental bill will guarantee a Conservative majority.

Why? How?
 
s243a
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by snfu73 View Post

Why? How?

Maybe it will let Canadians see how extreamist the opposition are with regards to the environment.
 
gc
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by s243a View Post

Maybe it will let Canadians see how extreamist the opposition are with regards to the environment.

Or start a new Reform movement? I'm surprised Albertans still support the Conservatives after giving so much of their money to Quebec, and now regulating emissions which will hurt the oilsands.
 
GenGap
#6
This is so sad for the future of all Canadian Children. The conservatives are only self-centering around tax payers today and not humankind. John is full of excuses, and continues to blame the past government. He does not look far enough, it his own party's mistakes now.
 
s243a
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by GenGap View Post

This is so sad for the future of all Canadian Children. The conservatives are only self-centering around tax payers today and not humankind. John is full of excuses, and continues to blame the past government. He does not look far enough, it his own party's mistakes now.

The future children will have no future if Dion destroys the economy.
 
s243a
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by gc View Post

Or start a new Reform movement? I'm surprised Albertans still support the Conservatives after giving so much of their money to Quebec, and now regulating emissions which will hurt the oilsands.

Well, some conservatives consider themselves green, others think that some compromise is necessary for a majority. Others are wary of the environmental movement but are okay with action as long as it is reasonable and sensible. Others perhaps are saying f*ck it. You think Kayoto won't hurt the economy, well lets go part way there and see if you change your tune. I think people are giving Harper the benefit of the doubt because he seems to be a good leader. If the Alberta economy starts to slow you could see yet another death of the conservatives.
 
gc
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by s243a View Post

Well, some conservatives consider themselves green, others think that some compromise is necessary for a majority. Others are wary of the environmental movement but are okay with action as long as it is reasonable and sensible. Others perhaps are saying f*ck it. You think Kayoto won't hurt the economy, well lets go part way there and see if you change your tune. I think people are giving Harper the benefit of the doubt because he seems to be a good leader. If the Alberta economy starts to slow you could see yet another death of the conservatives.

I've heard a lot of Albertans complain that the Conservatives environmental policy will hurt their economy. But that isn't going to stop them from voting Conservative because there is no alternative (yet). How long until Reform II starts up?
 
s243a
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by gc View Post

I've heard a lot of Albertans complain that the Conservatives environmental policy will hurt their economy. But that isn't going to stop them from voting Conservative because there is no alternative (yet). How long until Reform II starts up?

Well, it depends if the conservative environmental polices actually hurt the economy or not. I'm not in a company looking at the bottom line, so I don't know if these polices are a problem or not. I know Shell, has said that they though a lot of the polices are long over due. The federal government is not the only factor of course. There was a change in government at the provincial level to.
 
GenGap
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by s243a View Post

The future children will have no future if Dion destroys the economy.

The economy and Earth will be long gone before the next government can look at the economy.
 
Walter
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by GenGap View Post

The economy and Earth will be long gone before the next government can look at the economy.

How do you know?
 
Silverhead
#13
What I would like to know is, where was Suzuki during all the years of Liberal rule when nothing was done about the environment?
 
GenGap
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by Walter View Post

How do you know?

How can you not see?
 
Walter
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by GenGap View Post

The economy and Earth will be long gone before the next government can look at the economy.

I'll ask again; how do you know? Where is your evidence? Hard facts, please.
 
s243a
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by Walter View Post

I'll ask again; how do you know? Where is your evidence? Hard facts, please.

In a climate of fear the most scary story is taken as the truth.
 
temperance
#17
April 29th, 2007
CBC NEWS

Environment Minister John Baird defended his government’s climate change plan Friday, which included fending off a public confrontation with Canada’s best known environmentalist.

Baird had just kicked off Toronto’s consumer Green Living Show when he was approached by David Suzuki, who let the minister know what he thought of the government’s plan.
“It’s a disappointment, John,” Suzuki said as he beat a path to the minister.

“You know what you promised was a long way from what you delivered.”

Baird countered that “this is more action than any government in Canadian history has ever taken.”

But Suzuki was not impressed, saying that it’s not enough.

“He promised all kinds of great things and it’s been a big disappointment to see what it is. It’s all smoke and mirrors and what he’s going to do is allow industry to continue to increase their emissions.”

Suzuki later told CBC News the Conservatives’ new plan is an embarrassment because it falls short of what is needed and what Canadians want.

“What the government is trying to do is give the illusion of movement by talking about reducing the intensity, and hard targets,” he said.

“The reality is it’s really a cover for allowing industry to increase its pollution, so it’s not seriously addressing the emissions problem.”

Read the http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2007/04/2 ... sions.html
 
Niflmir
#18
On the utility of the intensity based approach being used by the current green plan:

Quote:

Mr. Speaker, the minister's latest plan scheme scam is intensity based. In the previous 13 years, Canada's energy intensity improved by 43%. We have to do more. That is why we are asking the minister to bring Bill C-30 back so we can have real reductions and absolute targets and get the job done.

From yesterday's debate. The previous government saw a 43% decrease in emissions using the current government's intensity based rhetoric, yet we all know that absolute emissions rose more than 27%.
 
s243a
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by Niflmir View Post

On the utility of the intensity based approach being used by the current green plan:



From yesterday's debate. The previous government saw a 43% decrease in emissions using the current government's intensity based rhetoric, yet we all know that absolute emissions rose more than 27%.

Which means to break even they would of only needed to improve immession intensity by 6% beyond what it has been improved by since the start of the previous government.
 
jwv
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by Silverhead View Post

What I would like to know is, where was Suzuki during all the years of Liberal rule when nothing was done about the environment?

Mr. Suzuki has been preaching much the same rhetoric for years. It's just that before it wasn't front page news like it is now.
 
s243a
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by jwv View Post

Mr. Suzuki has been preaching much the same rhetoric for years. It's just that before it wasn't front page news like it is now.

So if that is the case then whey is it front page news now? I heard something like 80% of the media is liberal.
 
jwv
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by s243a View Post

So if that is the case then whey is it front page news now? I heard something like 80% of the media is liberal.

Because it wasn't news before. It wasn't one of the "buzzwords" like it is now. Heck, lots of people were saying this sort of thing years and years ago, just no one cared at the time. Now it's a item for the news, and suddenly they care.
 
GenGap
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by Walter View Post

I'll ask again; how do you know? Where is your evidence? Hard facts, please.

Increase in harmingful sunrays.
Thining of atmosphere
Lakes Drying up
Polls melting
Raising sea levels.
Infestions on insects and other animals
Growing human population
3 eyed fish
Frogs with extra legs
Human birth defects.
War....
These are things that I have seen with my own eyes and took the time to look. Do not have 180 hours
to go deeper.
 
s243a
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by GenGap View Post

Increase in harmingful sunrays.
Thining of atmosphere
Lakes Drying up
Polls melting
Raising sea levels.
Infestions on insects and other animals
Growing human population
3 eyed fish
Frogs with extra legs
Human birth defects.
War....
These are things that I have seen with my own eyes and took the time to look. Do not have 180 hours
to go deeper.


The hole in the ozone I believe shrunk some. I believe the sun is the primary influence on the size of the whole. If lakes are drying up it is probably because we found a better use for the water. Population levels in developed countries would be shrinking if it wasn't for immigration. Mutations, birth defects and war have always existed. People have been worrying about the end of times long before the environmental movement.
 

Similar Threads

12
Brian Mulroney on the defensive!!!!!!!
by Socrates the Greek | Dec 14th, 2007
5
Paul Martin on Defensive
by Hank C Cheyenne | Nov 6th, 2005