The Liberals’ success in pushing a bill reaffirming Canada’s commitment to the Kyoto Accord through the Senate committee process is nothing much to be proud of. Naturally, they’re trumpeting it to the beautifully polished rafters.
Under the rules of the Senate, committees can’t sit while the Senate as a whole is in session. Last night the Conservatives tried to artificially extend the Senate session until midnight to prevent the committee from voting on the implementation legislation, known as Bill C-288. The Conservative stalling tactic failed, enabling Liberal Senators to pass the bill in Committee. It now returns to the Senate today for third reading which will begin Thursday.
“If they want to oppose Kyoto and real action on climate change, they should just say so, and let Canadians have a real debate.”
The Conservative plan for climate change has been panned by critics, including such leading environmentalists as Al Gore and David Suzuki. In fact, most economists and environmentalists have said that there will be no way that Minister Baird’s plan will accomplish what he suggests.
Unfortunately, the Liberals are fighting John Baird’s hollow plan with a non-plan. Bill C-288 just orders the minister of the environment to present and follow a plan to meet Canada’s Kyoto targets.
Baird won’t do that, but he will take every opportunity to point out that the Liberals’ David Anderson and Stéphane Dion didn’t, either. And he’ll wave around the entirely plausible and economist-supported report showing that trying to meet Kyoto targets by the Kyoto deadlines, which the Liberals ignored for almost a decade, would devastate Canada’s economy.
Passing Bill C-288 is meant to position the Liberal party, not to actually get anything done. It can only work on people who aren’t really paying attention, and as such, demonstrates contempt for those who are. The Liberals, who already occupy the extremely limited high ground in Canada’s climate-change debate (which is not very high at all) should cut it out and behave like serious people.