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Baird feels attacking Ontario and now Quebec will win votes?

… on the Environment file? Seriously?

Environment Minister John Baird has been all over the place the past weekend claiming that the new Ontario/Quebec environmental pact to set up a cap and trade system is somehow evidence of a plot against his federal government on the environment file:

Environment Minister John Baird told a national news agency that the agreement could undermine Ottawa’s climate change plan.

Well John, you and the federal Conservatives don’t have much of a plan as it is, and the one you do have is worth undermining; everyone else in the country other then in the province of Alberta (and internationally too,  for that matter) knows how little substance you have in that plan, and how you’re not very serious at tackling climate change and that your “plan” is all smoke and mirrors.

That said, I wouldn’t flatter yourself too much: the 2 provinces are simply of the realization as they both mentioned that Conservative Ottawa is foot dragging on this file, and they’re taking matters into their own hands – similar to what some US states are trying to do because of Bush’s refusal to do anything.

What I get a big kick out of is that John Baird is apparently expanding the Conservatives strategy of attacking provinces. Not content to just go after Ontario as Flaherty and Pierre Poilievere have done, he’s now castigating Quebec as well on this file – Quebec, which is probably the greenest of all provinces. As Jim Coyle points out, you have 2 provinces that “account for 75 per cent of Canada’s manufacturing, two-thirds of its population and 60 per cent of Commons seats.” And the Cons. feel attacking them is going to help them win the next election – particulary attacking them on the Environment?

Like others who have written about this, I’m a tad baffled by this strategy. However, I’m not going to criticize Baird or the Cons. for it –  on the contrary, I’m going to encourage him and them to keep it up, and to do it as much as possible all over the media and the talk shows. I’m sure voters in those 2 provinces will appreciate such tactics immeasurably.

Far it from me to attack an internal Conservative strategy that basically helps contribute to the Conservatives own defeat in the next election.  I’m quite content to let them carry on with their bluster and blather – and Baird is probably better at it then Flaherty or even Poilivere.


3 comments to Baird feels attacking Ontario and now Quebec will win votes?

  • You have to ask yourself why Baird feels free to attack provincial Liberal Premiers? Could it be that he has nothing to fear from the federal Liberal Party?

  • Whooee! Didja ever consider the idea that Baird is simply against anything that is intended to save the planet? The Con’s are the anti-Earth party. They are genuinely perturbed when somebody does something positive. Yer right, Scotty, they’re marginalizin’ their own sorryasses with this sorta behaviour.


  • This is the bunker mentality at work. The Cons are insistent about maintaining closed-rank consistency internally in order to present a united front, but that mindset can (and will) fail them when externally presented. Baird has excellent attack dog instincts — though used for reinforcing wrongful policy — but, like Flaherty, he is tripping over Harper’s command and control mantra.

    In his shoes the Liberals would use a completely different tack. They would “welcome the progress” on this “important issue” and negotiate a harmonized system, claiming as much credit as they could get away with in the end. Unity between the Feds and the provinces would be emphasized. McGuinty and Charest would get congratulatory back slaps and good photo ops. And, hopefully, we’d get some sort of decent CO2 reduction plan in place.

    I am conflicted about attacking Baird over this, because, as you say Scott, this is a self-defeating strategy; however, the criticism must be present, no?

    What will be interesting to see is in the continued face of declining polls, will the Cons be able to change their strategy? Or will whatever tactics they use continue to be subverted by the Cons short-sighted political culture of confrontation and strict central control.

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