It isn't easy being green
Mandatory curbs on carbon dioxide, tax credits for leaving the car at home and funding for the development of renewable fuels.
These announcements from…drum roll… the Conservatives? I don’t blame you for being confused, especially since you’ve been told over and over how the Federals Liberals and Greens are the official environmental stewards of Canada.
Of course the Liberals fail to mention under their watch there was a 31% increase over Canada’s targets under the mangled Kyoto Accord, that air quality declined in all major Canadian cities and that Canada slid in a spectacular fashion to 28 out of 29 in the OECD’s pollution rankings.
But this week’s announcement in Vancouver by Harper flies in the face of the “green police” rhetoric.
Let’s not forget that Canada’s greenest Prime Minister was none other than the much-maligned Brian Mulroney. Awarded by Corporate Knights, the honour demonstrates that when it comes to action on environmental and pollution issues, you are better off with a Conservative government.
Elizabeth May, the leader of Canada’s Green Party was unstinting in her praise for Mulroney, who she says focused on the environment by signing the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, finalizing an acid-rain treaty and establishing the $3 billion Green Plan.
Apparently Ms. May only has nice things to say about former Prime Ministers, because she sure ripped into Harpers’ new Clean Air Act.
In a disingenuous opinion article printed yesterday she completely ignores the new mandatory emission standards, like those found in California, and pretends this Act sidesteps the Canadian government’s commitment to greenhouse gas reduction.
Clever politics, Ms. May, but blatantly and purposely inaccurate. Too bad you were willing to sacrifice truth on the altar of partisan play.
The new Act deals with pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions together – as they should be – not in the isolation they’ve been handled in the past.
The biggest source of emissions come in the form of carbon dioxide and sulpher dioxide from vehicles. Mandatory standards will go a long way to reduce these.
How I can tell that this is the right move? The Ontario auto industry is crying the blues about the new rules.
There is an old saying that a good compromise leaves everyone unhappy.
The Conservatives have been clear from the beginning that the Kyoto Protocol was a pipe-dream. Now they’ve brought this act, in addition to rules dealing with mercury release, environment land banking and reductions on release of toxic substances from base metal smelters.
No doubt Elizabeth May is justifiable angry that the Conservatives have stolen pages from her policy book. I just wonder if she’ll sing the praises of Stephen Harper when he gets his green PM award.
As seen today in 24 Hours