Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tories Embarassed (Again) as Opposition Passes Pro Kyoto Bill

As was the case during an earlier reading in October, the federal Conservatives were embarrassed by opposition parties who successfully banded together to pass a bill forcing the government to meet its international Kyoto commitments. The Liberals, Bloc and NDP all voted in favour of the private member bill, passing it through Parliament by a vote of 161 - 113 Wednesday evening.

The bill, which was introduced 10 months ago by Liberal backbencher Pablo Rodriguez, gives the government 60 days to table a detailed plan outlining how Canada will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

The bill is expected to easily pass through the Liberal dominated Senate and come into full legal force. Once this occurs, the Conservatives could face a potential challenge in the courts or a non-confidence vote in Parliament if they fail to act on it.

Whether or not the Conservatives face these consequences will largely depend on the opposition's desire for an election. However, even if the Conservative minority government is allowed to stand, the bill should at the very least push the Tories towards more aggressive measures to tackle global warming. If they fail to do this much, then the they will run an ever increasing risk of becoming politically irrelevant, as the provinces and the opposition continue to move forward in favour of greater action on climate change.

Either way, the environment and earth conscious Canadians will be the winners thanks to today's events in Ottawa.


billg said...

Ok. I believe your comment. Now, answer this, at what cost?? You cant tell anyone that the Liberals know the cost, not in money or job loss. No one knows. And thats the issue. You and the Liberals and the NDP and the Bloc are willing to gamble with the Canadian economy on WhAT might or might NOT happen, and that to so many is whats frustrating. We as Canadians, in a world wide economy have to compete with Country's that will not have the same restrictions on production and manufacturing plants that we do, and you somehow find this acceptable. Yes, we have to clean our emissions up, but in the next 5 years?? Every job loss is a tax base loss, every dollar that leaves this country is a hospital bed or a nurse or a doctor, yet, your willing to pour it out of this country, for what?? Tell me..for what?? You are willing to gamble with peoples jobs, lives, and our way of life for 0.001% of the worlds GHG emissions! As I said before, you could be right, but, dont you think its a pretty irresponsible path to take considering the tiny dent Canada can make?? I think its a fair questions.

JimBobby said...

Whooee! I reckon the Cons should be red-faced but they ain't got no shame from what I can see. Now, they're talkin' 'bout ignorin' the will of our democratically elected parliament.

Down in Merka, the Merkan Green Party is pushin' t' get Dubya impeached over his climate change denial an' suppression o' scientific evidence vis-a-vis global warmin'.

I figger Canajuns gotta drag Harpoon's sorryass inta court an' read him the law. If he don't obey the law, he ain't got no bizness settin' in the pryminister's office.


Anonymous said...

I think this is good now the Harper can shut down 1/3 of the economy and the Opposition can explain it to the unemployed, and why they have no power and no heat and can drive only 2 or 3 days a week

JimBobby said...

Whooee! In honour o' Parliament passin' a law so's the ConMen'll honour Canada's international treaty obligations, I recorded me a little song. Maybe you'll get a laff or two from it.

The Night They Voted Harper Down

My screechin's pretty bad but the words is what counts, sez I.


Odiyya said...

To Anonymous and BillG

I appreciate your economic concerns, but you're not really taking a close enough look at the real picture. At what cost do we implement Kyoto? Number one, if you're looked at reports like the one put out by PricewaterhouseCooper and the stern report, you'll understand that most of the idea of 'cost' is a smokescreen. Most of the biggest solutions are well within our reach, and in no way risk 'economic ruin'. That is the word from the world's chief financial experts and economists, not from fringe environmentalists.

Examples? Here's two.

1) Alberta's oil sands can be made carbon neutral without risking profits, even if the entire cost of that is born by oil companies, which it doesn't have to be.

2) improving emissions standards in vehicles isn't going to cost jobs. Why? #1 the 30 million person california market is already requiring this, so the cars are going to be built anyway. #2 no matter what the emissions targets are, people are still going to buy new cars.

Those 2 points alone will solve a huge chunk of Canada's problems. If you want a third way to ensure that we don't lose our "tax base", tell Harper to stop handing out tax breaks to the weathiest 1%. that should keep the coffers nicely full.

My biggest question as always is this. Why do all of the supposed capitalists in the Tory's camp actually have such little faith in letting the market system address global warming?

rabbit said...

I believe this bill will backfire badly on the Liberals. Here's why:

First, many voters may view this bill not as a sincere effort to save the environment, but as an effort to embaress the tories. In other words, they will view this bill as a cynical political ploy.

Second, this bill neatly divides the political parties into two camps: Those that say we should meet our Kyoto committments in the next four years, and those that say that attempting anything so agressive would destroy our economy. Regardless of which side you agree with, there are three (or four) parties on one side and one party on the other. The tories, in other words, will get all the support for one side of the debate, whereas the grits have to share.

Third, this could trigger an election, and tories are in much better shape for that than the Liberals. The tories have got money, they've got a leader who has had time to establish his leadership within his party, and, knowing Harper, they probably have their election policies and strategies all layed out and ready to go.

Fourth, voters may ask, "Why do the Liberals insist that we keep to Kyoto when the Conservatives are in power, and yet failed to do so when they were in power?" Even if there's a good answer to that, the question will be effective ammunition for the tories.

In other words, it may not even matter if the Liberals are correct on this issue (and even some liberals doubt that they are). This could hurt.