Both the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois are taking exception to the plan which fails to outline a path to meet Canada's greenhouse gas reduction targets agreed to under the Kyoto Protocol. It also flies in the face of a private members bill passed by opposition parties that legally requires Canada to honour it's Kyoto commitments.
(NDP leader) Mr. Layton suggests the lack of action on climate change would force his party to vote against the Conservatives.
The Liberals did not return phone calls yesterday to say whether they would be willing to prop up the government after the lack of action on Mr. Rodriguez's law.
But Bloc Québécois MP Bernard Bigras, who is his party's environment critic, is making threats similar to those of Mr. Layton. The government is taking a "political risk" by ignoring the law, Mr. Bigras said. The plan released this week "is not acceptable, it does not constitute a response as required by the law that was voted upon by Parliament," he said.
At this stage, critics may be right in saying that it's simply too late for Canada to meet its Kyoto commitments. However, what's equally true is that the Conservative alternative is an industry friendly piece of toilet paper that falls far short of what Canada can and should do. The final blow will fall to the Liberals. Although a minority government, the Conservatives need the support of just one of the opposition parties to survive a confidence vote.
In the aftermath of a lengthy leadership race and a mediocre standing in the polls, the Liberals have looked reticent at pushing for an election. But if the NDP and the Bloc stand in opposition to the Conservatives the Liberals will face a real dilemma - show no leadership or credibility by siding with the Conservatives and their farcical environment plan, or face an election they are not equipped to win.
Here's some advice. The Liberals will not gain power again as long as they show zero backbone in the face of Conservative policies. They'd be better served by establishing, then holding true to, some principles rather than playing politics around them. If they do that, the votes will follow. Fail at that, and they will lose either way.