Thursday, June 5, 2008

Lunn to Canadians: if you want environmental progress, elect an NDP government

It takes some arrogance to say you can pick-and-choose the laws you’ll obey (if it were so easy, the streets of this country would be choked with jay-walkers and dog droppings). But it takes considerably more than arrogance to say that on a day a new law passes … and even more when you are a Minister of the crown pledged to uphold the laws of the land.

But humble to the last, Canada’s New Government could care less.
By a vote of 148 to 116, the House made history yesterday adopting Jack Layton’s bill to make Canada the first country in the world to adopt the science-based GHG reduction targets for 2012-2050 that were decided at Bali months ago.

This victory for the environment is a textbook example of how this minority government should have been doing things since the election. Environmental NGOs on the outside and opposition MPs in the chamber got behind Jack’s bill and used their numbers to get it passed despite the government’s objections.

But even with the result, the government is still objecting:
“The NDP can throw out numbers but there has to be reality to them. The reality is they're not in government and never will be, so they can just throw out [any] numbers they want,” Mr. Lunn said yesterday before the vote.

The most effective antidote for arrogance is strong opposition.
Conservatives are right about one thing: the NDP isn’t government. But they are wrong on the rest: the numbers aren’t just “any”, they come from an international consensus of Nobel prize winning scientists, and if the way to get progress is to put the NDP in government, then you can count on Canadians to do that, Gary. Stay tuned.

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