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It’s not just Kyoto that shows Tory indifference to environment.

Everyone’s been focused on Kyoto and the Clean Air Act, but there are other distressing indicators out there that show how little the Conservatives think of the Environment in general, and if given the choice between doing the right thing or supporting their friends in business/industry, the environment will come out the loser. An op-ed in today’s Toronto Star details how Ottawa is refusing to release 2 reports that NAFTA’s environmental watchdog has recently done saying that Canada has

  1. failed to enforce the Migratory Birds Convention Act by not penalizing logging companies for their destruction of migratory birds nests due to logging
  2. failed to enforce the Fisheries Act by penalizing pulp and paper mills who are illegally discharging toxic effluent into Canadian lakes and rivers.

Rather then act on the reports, Ambrose’s Environment Dept (which hopefully wont be her department for much longer) has refused to release the information due to apparent fear that it would embarrass the government (which it should and would). One reason why – apparently NAFTA’s environmental watchdog found emails that shows the government has no intention of changing its lax attitude towards logging companies anytime soon. (Perhaps this is a way for the government to try and play nice with them after their enforced lumber treaty with the US over many logging companies objections?)

Oh, and if you need any more evidence that the Conservatives dont care about the environment. the Star Op-Ed also talks about a 2005 report from this same NAFTA group which details how American coal plants are the chief culprits of mercury pollution getting into Canadian lakes and rivers, and how Ottawa has failed for a year now to follow up on the watchdog’s advice to call for a full investigation.

We wouldn’t want to hurt our “closer relationship” with the Americans that Harper always boasts about by bringing up such a “dirty” topic as this, now would we?

Its not just Kyoto that needs to be focused on right now and in the next election campaign, but all these other examples as well to point out to Canadians that if they want a government who cares about the Environment and takes that role seriously, it isnt the Conservatives they should be voting for.


9 comments to It’s not just Kyoto that shows Tory indifference to environment.

  • Dionosaur

    Winston, you are a wise man.

  • Winston


    From all the facts that have been presented, both political parties, the liberals and the conservatives, have failed on the environment. But the point of your article is that we should only fault the Tories, who have been in office for just 11 months, while turning a blind eye to what happened under 13 years of liberal government.

    If your argument had been that we should support the Greens or NDP, because of the failure of the others, I would understand, but to say support the liberals again because they are planning to be better than the conservatives next time around does not cut it.

    Lets say that there are 2 carpet cleaning companies, Company L and Company C. You hired company L to clean your carpet and they failed miserably. You then turn to company C and they also fail to do a satisfactory job. Would you go back to company L just because they say that one of their supervisors who was in the company at the time when they failed to clean your carpet is now the manager? Or would you look elsewhere?

  • garhane

    They even seek credit for doing something they did not do and thereby confuse the record and the public. IN CEPA (the environmental law) there is a procedure to collect info and deal with toxics,put them on a list, and publish assessments. All this was done with respect to one, called for short HCBD, back in 2003. Now with their new Chemical Management Plan the cons are claiming THEY put the item on a list, and THEY are doing heroic things about it (see Hill times December 11, page 7) But the HCBD went on the list in 1995, it was assessed then and was headed for a prohibition list but was so low in release amounts that it was not possible to measure it (for claiming a violation) and then measures were taken for other chemicals associated with its release and it was found these also reduced this item. So if the cons put it on some new list they will achieve absolutely nothing, except fraudulent p.r., and they are probabl;y only pickijg up the most recent measures by reading ministry mail. Why does anyone need to work their way through this, well just to find out that the Cons are lying again. Tha—tha–tha–thats all folks.

  • No excuses Dinosaur – just rationale.

    I am however awaiting the excuses from Rona and Steve why they refuse to uphold international environmental treaties and refuse to release NAFTA environment watchdog reports as their predecessors have done. I’m sure you Conservative parrots can come up with a few.

  • Dionosaur

    “Keep also in mind that Dion was probably constrained in his role as Environment Minister by those above him as to what he could exactly do. ”

    And if you don’t buy this excuse, I’m sure Scott has plenty more where that came from.

  • In_The_Centre replies:

    [quote comment=”210″]In that capacity, Dion received a satiric “fossil” award from environmental groups at the conference of the same type as Conservative Environment Minister Rona Ambrose received at this year’s version of the same event in Nairobi. [/quote]

    As Elizabeth May has said.. not everything Dion did was perfect.. but its far better then what the Tories are doing at the present. Dion didnt make it a habit of breaking international treaties or refusing to enforce them as the Tories are doing now.

    Keep also in mind that Dion was probably constrained in his role as Environment Minister by those above him as to what he could exactly do. Now that he is leader of his party, he would have have full reign as Prime Minister to implement through whatever Environment Minister he picked what to fully implement environmental programs and so on he deems are necessary. If he still fails at this point, I’ll be on him as much as anyone else.

  • In_The_Centre

    In that capacity, Dion received a satiric “fossil” award from environmental groups at the conference of the same type as Conservative Environment Minister Rona Ambrose received at this year’s version of the same event in Nairobi. So why have you heard so much about Ambrose’s “award”, so little about Dion’s?

    -Toronto Sun, Dec 6, 2006

  • Hello Jim, nice of you to drop by!

    I’ll say first though (as you should already know from Prog Blog) that I’ve always been an “Anti-Tory”, or to be more specific, anti-Harper and anti-this-form-of-conservative-party. So, I dont know how more “firmly I am in the enemy camp” then I was before, other then I have a party label attached to me now. 2ndly. my understanding is you’re not really “un-committed” – you may not be on the Blogging Tory blog-roll anymore.. but I thought you were still supporting the Conservative Party. Correct me if I’m wrong, but if that’s the case, that doesn’t exactly make you “uncommitted” :em23:

    With that bit of semantics out of the way and to try and address your points (and I would never call you “slow” – just misguided :em04:):

    Dion is getting flak for doing “nothing” as an Environment Minister and being tainted for this 13 years of inactivity. Fact check: He was Environment Minister for less then a year under the Liberals 13 years, and so to drop that all on his plate of responsibility is not fair to him. During that time he was credited internationally for keeping the Kyoto accord going along when he hosted that conference on it, so his reputation as an Environment Minister worldwide as a Kyoto proponent is pretty solid despite only being there in that portfolio for that year. Also, look at Elizabeth May coming out in the press and despite saying not everything was perfect, defending his tenure as Environment Minister and supporting his current platform.. saying he would be a lot better then what the Tories have to offer. That gives him added credibility.

    Fact check – the environmental programs the Tories all canceled this year that were implemented under the Liberals would have been beneficial towards helping Canada meet those Kyoto environmental targets (that’s stated by environmental experts, not just Liberal partisans). To try and tell me or non-committed voters that the Tories have done “more” in 11 months then in 13 years under the Liberals with this Clean Air “Stall” Plan of theirs (and the decisions like mentioned above in my blog-article where they are being shown to be lax on meeting other international environmental treaties, not just Kyoto) insults the intelligence of voters. We’re down to 6949 days on the clock before the Tories will set national air quality targets, I might add.

    Lastly, Dion has made no secret that his platform is based on and related on everything directly to the environment. Quite frankly, I trust the man to follow thru on this, and from a “realpolitik POV”, it would be disastrous for him politically if he got elected and then decided to do nothing. I don’t believe, however, that to be the case. He seems to me to be a man of integrity that will follow through on his commitments.

    I hope that answers your questions.

  • Jim

    Okay, Scott. Now that you’re firmly in the enemy camp ( :em20: ), I’ll ask you the same question I asked Ted (Cerberus). He called me ‘slow’, though.

    What makes you believe that the Liberal Party will do a better job of the environment than the Conservative Party? As far as I can tell, the Conservative Party has accomplished the same level of success on the environment in 11 months that the Liberal Party took 13 years to accomplish. Zero.

    In other words, why should I, a non-committed voter at this point, choose the historical indifference of the Liberal Party over the historical indifference of the Conservative Party, if the environment is at the forefront of my mind?

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