Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Harper's letter shows the real Stephen Harper

The Liberals today fought back against the Tory attack ads with the release today of a letter Stephen Harper wrote to supporters back in 2002 decrying the Kyoto Accord. The Liberals posted the letter on there website, and you can read it here.

Just for emphasis, here are a couple of environmentally concerned comments from Harper.

We're gearing up now for the biggest struggle our party has faced since you entrusted me with the leadership. I'm talking about the 'battle of Kyoto' — our campaign to block the job-killing, economy-destroying Kyoto accord.

It's based on tentative and contradictory scientific evidence.

It focuses on carbon dioxide, which is essential to life, rather than pollution
.(if this misleading argument sounds familiar, remember those ads released by the US based Competitive Enterprise Institute, a pro-corporate front
Implementing Kyoto will cripple the oil and gas industry which is essential to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
(shows where his priroties are and where they aren't).
Kyoto is essentially a socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations
(reactionary paranoia).

And this is the man who is going to rescue the environment from the Liberals? I don't think so.

I said the attack ads would backfire. I didn't think it would be this soon.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Tories in campagn mode already

In more amusing news, the Tories have apparently decided to launch attack ads on Stephane Dion, thus confirming that it is in campaigning rather than governing mode.

Interesting that they feel they have to attack him to elevate their own image, and risk exposing themselves to charges of sheer political opportunism and criticism that they are attacking the man whose environmental policies they have stolen. My prediction: it will backfire big time.

A secret deal, Gary Lunn, and the tarsands.

About ten days ago, it became public knowledge that a secret deal had been made between Albertan and American oil executives:

Radio-Canada reported Wednesday evening that it had obtained the minutes of a secret meeting between American and Albertan oil executives that occured shortly after last year's federal election. The PMO has since denied Radio Canada's suggestion that the meeting was secret and has complained to the CBC ombudsman about the suggestion that the meeting was arranged by the Conservative government.

The meeting was arranged by Natural Resources Canada and the U.S. Department of Energy.

According to Radio-Canada's documents, the Canadians and Americans developed a proposal to increase oil sands exports to the U.S. "fivefold" in a short period of time. The plan would require Canada to "streamline" environmental regulations to speed up the expansion.

Now, obviously, this would have taken place when the Marin Liberals were still in power. Stephane Dion says that he knows nothing about it. The Tories are criticizing and questioning Dion for that reaction to it, and not without reason. One would hope that an Environment Minister would be in on an action like this. Given Dion's environmental credibility, I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

However, here's the rub. They can criticize Dion all they want, but that doesn't change the fact that Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn said this:

As we see the potential increase in production moving from a million barrels a day up to four or five, we need to do better,'' Lunn said Wednesday. ''I think there's great promise in the oilsands for nuclear energy.

Regardless what the Martin government may have done or not done in the past does not excuse the Harper government's lackadaisical attitude toward the environment. The've been talking a good game lately and stealing some of the Liberal programs that they had recently cut, but it seems apparent to me that they have no intion at all of trying to reduce greenhous gas emissions. As John Bennett of the Climate Action Network said in response to Lunn's comment:

It is impossible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and expand the tarsands at this rate.

No kidding.

The Sierra Club gave essentially the same reaction

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Meet your new federal Environment Minister

I was happy that Rona Ambrose had been kicked out the the Environment portfolio, until I heard about his lovely replacement, blowhard John Baird.

The thinking, is that the purpose of this appointment will be to sic a vicious bulldog (Baird) on Stephane Dion when he brings up the environment in the House Commons. Here is what Garth Turner has to say:

Seems to me this is a sad day for the environment. Not that we’ll miss Rona, but because we have Commons pit bull John Baird stuffed into this critical role so PMSH can sic him on Stephane Dion. That’s the apparent goal here - to score points on a political enemy, rather than do what needs to be done in this year when climate change has us all wondering where the snow went.

And it’s a sad day, too, because the man who should be environment minister - Bob Mills, perhaps the only Tory with the credentials to actually do the job - is cooling his heels on the back benches. Shame.

I'm not sure how this will play out, but it doesn't smell very good. It smacks of political opportunism from a government whose lackaddaisical attitude toward the environment is obvious and unlikely to change in terms of intention. People do not be deceived.

Introduction to The Stop Stephen Harper Blog.

As I have said elsewhere, Stephen Harper is a very dangerous man. He is by far the most ideologically right-wing Prime Minister in Canadian history. His policies threaten to fundamentally alter Canadian society as we know it, and not in a good way. My guess is that is going to make an attempt to appear more moderate from here on in leading up to the next election. Don't believe it. His far right-wing views on may economic and social issues are throroughly on the public record.

Hmm, looks like some of the anti-Harper sites have been shut down.

I will reprint here a list of reasons I came up with not to vote for Harper.

These are the reasons I can come up with at this point in time. I will publish a more extensive list when the next federal election comes.

1) abandoning Kyoto commitments, in the face of overwhelming evidence of the climate change threat, which Canada and almost all other industrialized countries had already signed.

2) refusing to endorse the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples, a document that many countries including Canada has worked on for 20 years, thus further harming relations with aboriginals in Canada.

3) phony choice in child care policy, in place of national child care policy agreed to by Canada and the provinces

4) trashing of the Kelowna accord for aboriginal peoples, again agreed to by the feds and the provincesw

5) raising the income tax of the poorest income group.

6) supporting the Israeli flattening of Lebanon.

7) gutting of social programs which support women, aboriginals, volunteers, and adult literacy.

7) language and decisions used by Stephen Harper which is eerily similar to language and decisions used by George Bush, such as "cut and run," "stay the course," banning coverage of soldier's caskets.

8) as detailed above, an unwillingness or inability to work with the provinces or the international community.

9) inability or unwillingness to work with the opposition parties, after complaining as the official opposition in the previous Parliament that the government was unwilling to work with them. The Difference is that the previous government did work with the opposition; it was just a different party. The Harper regime seems unable or unwilling to work with any of the opposition parties.

10) Taking David Emerson in to his cabinet soon after he was elected as a Liberal.

11) Turfing Garth Turner because he spoke his mind.

12) threatening to kill the gun registry.

13) if elected with a majority, a Harper Conservative government will likely sign on to the US's dangerous misguided ballistic missle defence program.

14) breaking promises to increase foreign aid to .07% average, and instead letting it fall.