Saturday, July 5, 2008

Still Waiting…But I’m Not Holding My Breath

It’s now been over two weeks since the Green Shift was launched and much to the chagrin of the opponents of this plan I’m still waiting for some things to happen…
- Still waiting to see the FIRST respected non-partisan affiliated economist to say the Green Shift will be bad for the Canadian economy. Perhaps Stephen Harper should stop calling himself an economist
- Still waiting to see the FIRST respected non-partisan affiliated environmental group to say the Green Shift won’t likely result in significant decreases in greenhouse gas emissions. Perhaps the NDP should clue in...
- Still waiting for John Baird (you know our Environment Minister) to make his FIRST public comments on the Green Shift plan. After losing all credibility with the rest of the world, I guess Baird has lost credibility with his own party as well. Either that or Baird knows well enough that his party is wrong on the Green Shift and can't bring himself to parrot the Conservative talking points.
- Still waiting to see the FIRST sign of real global leadership from Stephen Harper on climate change. Harper's "you first" attitude is driving Canada's reputation down the toilet
- Still waiting for the FIRST public poll that shows that public support for the Liberals has been hurt by the Green Shift like all the naysayers claimed it would. Guess Canadians are a lot smarter than the pundits gave them credit.
- Still waiting for the alliance of Liberal Premiers to come out against this plan like had been predicted
- Still waiting for anything to be up on the NDP website about the Green Shift SINCE the plan was released (the release they put out before the plan was released on taxing the poor was completely debunked and not even Layton parrots those talking points anymore). I guess the cat has caught the NDP’s tongue…I saw Layton on CTV’s Question Period and all he could say was that he feared the Green Shift wouldn’t reduce emissions (which no environmental group agrees with him on) and that Stephen Harper’s comments about the plan were unbecoming and wrong. I can see Jack is struggling here…
- Still waiting for Jack Layton to explain how his cap-and-trade plan can be implemented “right now” as he claims. Do you know who is in government right now Jack? Do you know how cap-and-trade fared in Europe? You’ll get a real effective cap-and-trade system (like the one the Liberals proposed over a year ago that includes absolute targets) with a Liberal government, no sooner, that’s just reality.
- Still waiting for Jack Layton to acknowledge that he is completely off-side with the entire environmental community with his criticisms of the Green Shift (when confronted with this on QP all he said was basically “I like debate” but couldn’t name any groups that support his view of the Green Shift). The best approach is going to be implementing the Green Shift as soon as possible and then working to set up an effective cap-and-trade system. That’s what the Liberals have proposed and what everyone who is serious about the environment agrees on. The NDP would rather we dither and even then only want to tackle half the problem (GHG emissions from big business, but not from individuals).
- Still waiting for Stephen Harper to stop cowering from a debate with Stephane Dion on climate change. With Harper even afraid now to debate Dion in Calgary it's obvious to everyone that Harper knows he's got nothing intelligent to say or propose himself on the environment.

Something tells me I should stop waiting for all these things to happen… In the meantime I’ll continue to be glad to be supporting a plan that all the experts, and an ever growing cross-partisan coalition, agree is the best plan for our environment and economy.

While the NDP and Conservatives remain in denial about this plan, Stephane Dion will continue to be the only adult in this debate telling Canadians how it’s well past time for Canada to show leadership on this issue and how he'll get the job done.

At the G8 conference in Japan this upcoming week (July 7-9) I think it will be made painfully clear why Canada needs a leader like Stephane Dion as our Prime Minister.

UPDATE: There’s been a Baird sighting! He’s come out of hiding to remind us why he's been kept hidden all this time. Thanks John for lending even more credibility to those economists who are most supportive of the Green Shift! I guess it was too good to be true to expect Baird to remain in hibernation forever (though the Conservatives may soon regret that they let him out), but still waiting for all the rest of these things to happen...

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Paul said...

Speaking of waiting... still waiting for your candidate, Frank Valeriote, to explain why he's opposed to Dion's beloved plan.

wilson said...

''Stephane Dion will continue to be the only adult in this debate telling Canadians how it’s well past time for Canada to show leadership on this issue and how he'll get the job done.''

Too funny. Dion was Enviro minister diddly SQUAT;
ghg INCREASED 25%, most of the increase under a MAJORITY Liberal government.
Where was the leadership for those 12 years?
Like Iggy said 'Liberals didn't get it done'
And you libs have the nerve to reprimand and critize?
And then make a debut with a TAX, with no ghg reductions.....
Canadians are not that stupid.
Liberals blew it on the environment.
And the Green Shaft is just the same do-nothing enviro plan Libs had for the last decade.

Danielle Takacs said...

Paul, it’s pretty weak for the Conservative Guelph candidate to be just relying on an over year old quote by Valeriote. People do change their minds and it can often be for a good reason. But do you really want Liberals to be dredging up quotes and promises Harper made in the last election and before that he has since gone back on? There are quite a number…

And Wilson thanks for obviously not reading this post. I’m guessing you just cut and pasted a comment you’ve already made elsewhere. As for your comments on the Green Shift all the economists think it is good economics and all the environmentalists think it will result in measurable GHG reductions far beyond anything the Conservatives are proposing. Are you going to tell me that YOU know better than people who study this for a living what’s best for the economy and what would result in greenhouse gas emissions? These are non-partisan individuals that have been employed by THIS government in the past for advice with our taxpayer money so obvious Harper thinks they know what they are talking about. The idea of taxing carbon and giving back the revenue in tax relief is even supported by lots of small-c Conservatives like Andrew Coyne and Preston Manning , people not known for supporting a “tax” as you describe it. Continue to pretend there isn’t significant tax relief in the plan, but if you really want to engage in debate why don’t you read this and this (by Andrew Coyne) and get back to me.

Dion also has proposed a target of 20% below 1990 levels by 2020 and has released a plan over a year ago that included cap-and-trade with targets that he has indicated he still plans to follow through on but I guess again you didn’t read my post.

As for the Liberal record , watch this video. I've addressed the rest of this before, but since you obviously haven't read my posts, I'll just post it here again and see if you'll actually respond. Stephane Dion in particular was praised by environmentalists when he was Environment minister and when he helped craft the 2005 budget it was dubbed the "Greenest budget in Canadian history". We certainly haven’t heard that about any Conservative budgets. I think Elizabeth May (who has had a long career as a respected environmentalist and has even won the United Nations Global 500 award and the Order of Canada) said it well: "If they try to say he (Dion) was anything other than a very strong environment minister, they're making it up."

Overall emissions stabilized during the final years of Liberal government and the intensity of emissions dropped significantly. Did you know Wilson that the Conservative plan is ONLY based on intensity targets? So what happened under the Liberals was that you saw the intensity of emissions go down significantly but overall GHG emissions still went up over that same period. Tell me how the Conservative plan will lead to overall GHG reductions again? Oh that’s right no one thinks it will.

Conservatives spent the first year scrapping Liberal programs and the re-instating them and then putting forth a plan and then another plan that not a SINGLE non-partisan independent group believes will even lead to any meaningful greenhouse gas reductions. That’s in contrast to Project Green the Liberals released previously.

Conservatives have been dubbed by the rest of the world and environmentalists at home as the worst government yet for the environment. Never has Canada been seen as so obstructionist and actually beaten the U.S. in first-place fossil awards, had Harper’s face pasted in papers as someone who has halting progress and even as the G8 approaches we are flagged as having the second worst record on the environment next to George Bush. So much for “turning the corner.” Its in real contrast to Stephane Dion’s record as environment minister and his leadership in Montreal when he lead to craft a global agreement on climate change.

But even though this is all the case, Canadians care a lot more about what is going to be done for them NOW and in the future on climate change than they do about what was done in the past. We need large reductions in GHG before 2020 to stave off the worst effects of climate change and Canada needs to show leadership FIRST in order to get countries like China and India on board. Harper’s approach of “you-first” is a recipe for global inaction for a decade to come.

So nice try Wilson, I look forward to your point-by-point rebuttal...

Steve V said...


You should give him a call. When you hear the passion in his voice, defending Dion's plan, then you might have a clue. Actually, that is probably asking to much, "having a clue" seems an elusive pursuit for Cons these days.

Is that all you turds got? Can't argue substance, because you have NOTHING, so you resort to fabrications. What a bunch of lightweights.

Sitsonsix said...

"Perhaps Stephen Harper should stop calling himself an economist…"

Why? He has a masters degree in economics, doesn't he? Along with 2 1/2 years experience running what amounts to the largest corporation in the country (as in the federal government), I'd say he's more qualified than most to call himself an economist.

Of course, I'll be voting, and cheering for Dion in the next federal election. It's the best thing for Alberta, from a separatist point of view.