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Stephane Dion and his Green Shift are vindicated. More Hard Work needed though.

Vindication took eight years, but it finally showed up for Stephane Dion:

“The government proposes that the price on carbon pollution should start at a minimum of $10 per tonne in 2018, rising by $10 each year to $50 per tonne in 2022.”

And then the kicker.

“If neither a price nor cap-and-trade system is in place by 2018, the Government of Canada would implement a price in that jurisdiction.”

When the prime minister concluded his remarks, Stéphane Dion left his seat and walked over to shake Trudeau’s hand.


This was extremely gratifying to read as someone who attended the 2008 Liberal Convention, witnessed Stephane Dion’s victory, and became […]


Open Letter to the Liberal Party of Canada executive.

Dear LPC Executive (Mr. Doug Ferguson et al.):

I’ve been debating about doing this blogpost I’m about to do, and it pains me to do it, but I think I need to say it, in light of all the Liberal blogs I’ve seen murmuring today about the state of the LPC and the leadership.

I’m a Liberal Party of Canada member because I was impressed with Dion at the Convention which I helped cover for Progressive Bloggers/BlogsCanada in 2006. I became a Liberal after the Convention, so I’m not a “true” Dionista, but close. I’ve supported him publicly and privately since his rise to Liberal leader. I applauded his ability […]


Chretien to introduce Dion at Brampton rally Friday night.

Well, this is exciting news: the word is that despite his wife Aline having heart surgery last weekend, Jean Chretien will still be coming to the last real big Liberal rally in Brampton Friday night (starting at around 7:30 pm) to introduce Stephane Dion to the crowd. That tells you that Aline is doing fine and that Mr Chretien really wants to do this event with Stephane. That’s a big deal when he’s willing to do that.

So in the span of a couple of days, we’ve had Martin intro Dion and now Chretien – not many Liberal leaders could manage that.


Keeping it simple will work for Dion.

The more Dion does this, the better it will be for his campaign:

At a rally in Napanee, Ont., Mr. Dion said that some people have called the plan complicated. “It’s very simple. I will give you the Liberal plan in six words, you will see: Cut income taxes, shift to pollution.” He then challenged Conservative leader Stephen Harper to explain his environmental plan in six words. “Okay, okay 10 words. Thirty words? No, no I will help him. In two words: No plan.”

As I have said before, I like the Liberal TV Ads on the Green Shift, and I like this approach of explaining it in the simplest terms as possible. Far from “running away” from the policy as Harper claimed he would do, Dion has been bringing it up on a rather consistent basis. This new “keep it simple” approach will help him greatly in selling the plan to Canadians in his stump speeches and reminding them that Harper does not have any credible plan of his own. Harper has more or less admitted this by advocating policies that will not only increase GHG but sap the nation’s finances further – A “Brown-Grey Shift”.

By the way, while Harper and his Conservatives may not have anything directly to do with this -another oil spill in Alberta that has killed over 500 birds; mostly ducks and swallows – it’s a rather tragic symbol in my opinion of how the Conservatives view the environment – which is a rather dim one.


Harper calls that campaigning?

Let me go back briefly to last night’s Dion/Turner town hall in Halton, and then contrast it to what Stephen Harper did. Dion co-hosts a town-hall that had 1400 people show up in what was an open invitation to the public to attend (and everyone was invited to this event – including non-Liberals), takes open questions from the crowd for an hour, and prior to that takes questions from both reporters and bloggers. The questions aren’t screened or controlled.

Now check out what Harper calls “campaigning” while he was down in London:



Initial thoughts on the Dion/Turner town hall meeting.

If I look at the various liveblogging that was done during the evening, it appears to have gone very well, with a crowd estimated between 1000 and perhaps 1200 at the event, and the bloggers were right there covering the event and giving good accounts of the goings-on. No apparent protests either, from the sounds of it, which some of the local Conservative rabble were threatening to do.

However, I would like to pass on a minor quibble to the Wingnuterer, which I already did at his one blogpost (or rather, at the blogpost that Impolitical did a guest blogging of) over his otherwise funny, amusing, informative blogposts:

Please, please, […]


Dion talks to bloggers.

I’ve just finished participating in an interesting exercise. Yesterday I got an invite to participate in an “on the record” conference call that Stephane Dion was wanting to hold with various bloggers today.  Those who could join the call would be able to hear some remarks he would make, and then he would answer some questions to him if any of us had any for him.

I won’t steal the thunder of all the rest of the bloggers who were on this call and who asked questions  – I’m sure many of them will be posting their own thoughts, and I’m a tad rushed here – but for the specific benefit of Saskboy, whose phone cut out before the end of the conference call, I’ll say to him that Dion did definitely agree that the “10 percenter” fliers that the Conservatives have engaged in are definitely against the spirit of that law, and a definite indictment of this particular government on how it operates, and that some of his MP’s were going to see if they can make the case these violate the law (Saskboy has had 7 of these fliers show up in his mailbox from seven different Cons. MP’s – my sympathies).

I will say that I laud Mr Dion for going ahead and doing this and showing his willingness to interact with us. He made a good point about how younger people today seem to read blogs a lot more then they read or listen or watch traditional media, and that this will be an important medium now and in the future for getting people connected with politics and more involved.

[email protected]:48 pm: I should also mention that it sounds like from the folks who organized this that  Dion would be willing to perhaps hold more of these calls, and I think increased blogger participation (ie. inviting more bloggers) or interaction in such a hypothetical future conference call is not out of the cards.

UPDATE [email protected]:20pm: Saskboy’s account and James Bowie’s acount of the chitchat are here and here (note that James plagiarized my title 😉 )

UPDATE [email protected]:30pm: There was one part of the Q & A that Dion said that was very interesting to me that I will bring up. Dion said he has no intention of using attack ads such as the Conservatives have done to him since he became leader and the Liberals in general over things such as the Green Shift. He said the Canadian voters will have a choice whether to support a positive campaign as he intends to run, or a negative campaign as he anticipates the Conservatives will do during an election campaign, and only a campaign will tell which one prevails.

I presume of course that doesn’t mean he and the Liberals aren’t going to point out the shortcomings or be critical of what they perceive to be wrong policies that the Conservatives have implemented – but the methods will probably be more subtle then the sharp attacks the Cons. are doing. At any rate, it’s an admirable stance he takes – we’ll see whether it helps win him and the Liberals an election.

Update [email protected] Aug 20, 1:30AM: Liberal Bag with his account of the call.

Update [email protected] Aug 20, 11:15 am: Jason with his account here.

UPDATE [email protected] 5:16pm: Jamie with his account here.


Dion gets good reception in Guelph; local bloggers there to report on it.

I thought I’d point out this article by David Graham who resides in Guelph and is also the Liblogs blogging aggregate coder. He was on hand in person to watch Stephane Dion’s appearance in Guelph yesterday, where he drew a very nice crowd and from what David says, a pretty good response. That would seem to be backed up by Steve V who also witnessed the event and came away suitably impressed by what he called “Dion’s authenticity”.

You might also note in David’s blog article the rather dismissive tone the local newspaper, the Guelph Mercury, did on Dion’s event, and which continues at their local blog, which is here. […]


Your Conservative response to the Green Shift…

…basically more or less boils down to Harper making the claim that Dion is lying to Canadians about the details of this plan. Of all the things one can say about Dion, even his opponents have said he was a man of integrity. To pull this line of attack out as a means of trying to discredit the Green Shift is simply in my view a dead-ender for the Cons., but I invite them to try and keep using that attack line if they wish, because all it does is expose the fact that the Conservatives simply have no credible plan of their own to counter with, so they’re reduced to smears and “the sky will fall!” fear-mongering, using an oil-spill as their mascot. I don’t think Canadians will buy it.

As you might guess, plenty of comment on the progressive/Liberal blogosphere today about the Green Shift, as well as the media. Too many to list here, but I was interested in reading this blogpiece by Graheme over at his blog, because while he’s a progressive blogger, he isn’t a Liberal supporter, and he’s pretty non-partisan. He gives the Green Shift a fair assessment and believes overall despite the fact he has some reservations, its a good plan.

To make up your own mind, go to The website. You should also read the policy explanation here

As it says over at the website, The time has come to do what is right – not what is easy – for our environment and for our future.


Interesting portrayal of Dion

..and one I don’t think is that far from the truth. Go read Aaron Wherry’s perceptions of Dion here.  Perhaps Jim might disagree, with all the animal portrayals he has been doing of late to show his discontent at the official Liberal abstention policy, but personally, I think Wherry’s characterization of Dion is “spot on”.

As for whether the trait that Wherry is associating Dion with is a good or a bad thing, I think it can be both a blessing and a curse.  As I said before, I guess we’ll see which it is over the decision to hold off on a summer election in the coming months.

(PS – While I’m not as angst-ridden as some about policy specifics of the Green Shift/Carbon Shift not being released yet, I do think it needs to be released sooner rather then later, and I think I prefer us using the “Green Shift” term when using a description for it – it projects much more of an optimistic tone).

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