Friday, March 7, 2008

Halt climate change or help Harper: What will Liberals do?

Today, Jack Layton is setting up a clinic on how an opposition party is supposed to behave -- with a real confidence motion linked to a real issue: the environment.

Layton’s motion is to resurrect C-30, the Clean Air and Climate Change Act and have MPs finally vote to enact the bill which was re-written in an all-party committee. If the government refuses, Layton is saying the NDP are ready to go to an election over it.

The motion is designed to get the support of all parties, including the Liberals.

It was only a week ago that Dion was calling on Harper to bring the bill back:

“Mr. Speaker, on the issue of Afghanistan, the Prime Minister has shown a new openness, which we would like to see extended to other issues, such as climate change, one of the worst threats to humankind. The government killed the clean air bill, Bill C-30, a comprehensive plan to combat climate change. Could the Prime Minister not resurrect this plan and hold a debate in this House on the basis of this bill, to prove that his new openness will not be limited to the issue of Afghanistan?”

As a recent government report shows, the threat of climate change has never been more real or more serious and the need to get on the right track never more urgent.

Last night, the Liberals’ confidence motion against the NDP was soundly defeated. And it was entirely for a lack of trying. Perhaps recognizing the foolishness of attacking the NDP instead of Harper, only 57 Liberals showed up for the vote on their precious opposition day.

Layton’s motion gives the Liberals a chance to make up for it. Will they vote for the environment plan they say they support, or roll over to help Harper again?

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