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Suzuki, other environmentalists: Conservatives green plan is an embarrassment

When Canada’s leading and most respected environmentalist comes out and calls your plan “an embarrassment” and “not a strategy, but a sham”, I think you know this government is going to have difficulty selling this plan to Canadians. (By the way, kudos to the guy for publicly confronting John Baird and telling him it was a disappointment)

Other environmental groups are just as scathing:

“Turn the Corner”, released Thursday afternoon, proposes to reduce emissions 20 percent by 2020. However, that would be a 20 percent reduction from 2006 levels. “That would leave Canada 11 percent above its Kyoto commitments many years after the country is legally obligated to meet them,” says John Bennett of the Climate Action Network Canada, a coalition of environmental groups. “This government is all about pretending to reduce emissions,” Bennett told IPS.

And what does Bennett think of the Conservatives?

“I have never dealt with a more partisan government, everything is about politics” says Bennett. “Even worse, they think people are stupid and will believe stupid things.”

I don’t think Canadians are stupid, and I think they will see this plan for what it is – a strategy designed not to be serious about climate change,† but to deceive Canadians.

24 comments to Suzuki, other environmentalists: Conservatives green plan is an embarrassment

  • rabbit

    KNB:

    You claiming, clearly or not, that Suzuki is enerringly objective about each political party doesn’t make it so. Frankly, Suzuki is turning into a cantankerous old coot without patience for anyone who disagrees with him. And his politics have always been left of centre – anyone who knows anything about Suzuki knows it. I have some respect for Suzuki, but I’m not going to deify him. I’m not big on hero worship.

    And if, as you say, he has a legal obligation not to support any political party, then he is skating on very thin ice, as can be seen by the links included in my recent posts.

  • In that case, what on earth are you doing on this blog?

  • knb

    Rabbit, perhaps I did not say it clearly enough. He does not support or endorse any party.

    He congratulates people for doing the right thing, period. He even had some good words to say about Baird.

    Fair comment about my presumption of con though. Given your nic, you could be Green. He’s obviously had good things to say about May.

    I don’t know where you stand politically, but from here on in, I will push people to get their facts straight.

    I am sick and tired of everyone putting out the daily briefing, without knowing whether it is true. Worse yet, I’m appalled to watch people lap it up. It’s regurgitated garbage people, yum.

  • rabbit

    P.P.S.

    Suzuki should also ask to have his name removed from this site:

    http://new.ndplondonfanshawe.ca/?p=158

    It goes on (in some length) about how Suzuki and his foundation strongly endorse NDP policy on the environment. I suppose we could argue about the difference between endorsing a party’s policies, and endorsing the party itself. But having the endorsement appear on an NDP candidate’s web site is too much. It is impossible not to interpret it as an endorsement of the candidate.

  • rabbit

    Further to my post, Suzuki should also quit speaking at NDP meetings, as he did in Toronto:

    http://www.nowtoronto.com/issues/2005-04-07/news_story5.php

    The story mentions that they handed out NDP donation forms. If Suzuki does not support the NDP, he should probably quit speaking at their fund raisers. Bad optics, don’t you know.

  • rabbit

    Knb: Who says I’m a conservative? You presume too much.

    If what you say is true, I suggest Suzuki demand that Marilyn Churly get his endorsement off of her web site:

    http://www.marilynchurley.ca/friends.htm

    This is under the title “Marilyn’s supporters”, making it a clear endorsement.

  • knb

    No Rabbit, I’m not kidding and I stand by my comment.

    Find me a quote where he “endorses” the NDP, since he’s had his foundation.

    I hardly think that running a foundation prevents one from personally supporting a political party. Using the foundation to overtly support a political party perhaps. I wouldnít really know.

    Well, if you are a law and order conservative, perhaps you should look it up. Because his foundation contains his name, he as an individual, cannot support a party.

  • rabbit

    Knb:

    You’re kidding, right? You didn’t know Suzuki was vocal supporter of the NDP? I thought everyone knew that. He’s often been encouraged to run as an NDP candidate. His foundation conducted a forum at the last NDP federal convention. Even his Wikipedia write up mentions it:

    Suzuki has consistently endorsed the NDP… in provincial and federal elections).

    I hardly think that running a foundation prevents one from personally supporting a political party. Using the foundation to overtly support a political party perhaps. I wouldn’t really know.

  • knb

    Suzukiís has long been a vocal supporter of the NDP

    But he was not nearly so vitriolic with the Liberals

    So which is he? Answer: Neither

    His foundation accepts charitable donations and by Law, it would not qualify for such, if he was associated with, supported or a member of a Political party.

  • Press coverage of the new emissions plan has largely missed a very key point. The required reduction in industrial emissions is actually a reduction in emissions intensity, that is, emissions per dollar of GDP or per unit of production. That changes the math of the entire plan (see here) and makes the long-term target extremely hard to reach.

  • rabbit

    Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather.

    Suzuki’s has long been a vocal supporter of the NDP. That he disapproves of a conservative government’s policies hardly rates as news.

    His criticism of the conservatives has at times been extreme, once saying Canada should be considered an outlaw nation for abandoning Kyoto. But he was not nearly so vitriolic with the Liberals, who signed Kyoto and then stood by while Canada’s CO2 production went nowhere but up.

    It makes me think that politics is more important to him than the environment.

  • knb

    Geesh Scott, I guess you lucked out with the “we LOVE Harper” traffic.

    I’m not so sure about an election as you mentioned on another thread, I think it will delay any implementation of any plan, for too long. As much as I want the government kicked to the curb, (and I’m still angry from yesterday, so I’ll leave at that for the moment), I also want to see real action taken now.

    That said, Layton’s offer on the surface seems reasonable, but forgive my cynicism, I don’t trust him.

    More to the point of your post, it’s the first time that I’ve seen high profile groups get political. I say, rightly so, but it shows the level of frustration.

    Angelle, that is interesting about the apology. Especially this line: After we launched the initiative, it came to our attention . They do that a lot don’t they? Have to clean up the mess that they never fully investigated in the first place, I mean.

  • “I donít think Canadians are stupid, and I think they will see this plan for what it is – a strategy designed not to be serious about climate change, but to deceive Canadians.”

    How’s that different from 11 years Liberal reign?

    It’s time for the liberals to understand they can’t win this “battle of the parties” due to their own record on environment. I would suggest Libs change focus, off the Conservatives and onto the polluters.

    Focus on the biggest polluters; expose them. They made huge profits and now they will be rewarded with intensity targets? (see my blog). Now it’s time to put part of those profits back into innovations.

  • As a liberal, even you would have to admit that for most of the leftists that comprise environmental groups, no conservative plan would ever pass their mustard.

    That’s not true. I would be the first to applaud an environmental plan that worked, no matter who came up with it.

  • kursk

    As a liberal, even you would have to admit that for most of the leftists that comprise environmental groups, no conservative plan would ever pass their mustard.

  • I suppose what it is going to come down to is that we can act,within reason, or we can sit back, sign agreements and not do a damn thing ala the liberals.

    Ya except that this legislation is being denounced as too weak by every environmental group. That doesn’t bode well for the effectiveness of said legislation.

    Liberals talk a good game, but now the conservatives have their kick at the can.We shall see if the job gets done.

    Indeed, but mark me as skeptical.

  • kursk

    Paladiea..how would we know? It has not been implemented yet.
    I suppose what it is going to come down to is that we can act,within reason, or we can sit back, sign agreements and not do a damn thing ala the liberals.

    It’s tough to complain when you spent thirteen years (with a majority for a greater portion of the time..)signed on to Kyoto and STILL were beaten in reducing GHG by the Americans (who did not sign Kyoto,and has a larger industrial base than Canada does)

    Success will be measured if it cleans our air, keeps our drinking water safe and do all of this without losing jobs.

    Liberals talk a good game, but now the conservatives have their kick at the can.We shall see if the job gets done.

    Kursk

  • Apparently not. It doesnít fit within the kool-aid construct presented at this site.

    That doesn’t even make sense. Please, post an actual argument. I’m begging you.

  • “Doesnít count as an argument here Aaron.”

    Apparently not. It doesn’t fit within the kool-aid construct presented at this site.

  • Kind of like the Liberals were honest about being an environmentally-friendly government for thirteen years when their record on emissions was in fact worse than George Bushís. Ouch!

    “OMFG Teh FibEralz!!1!” Doesn’t count as an argument here Aaron. Please, point out how the Conservative environment plan IS a success. Otherwise, you can just go home and play with the other trolls.

  • Sigh. What do you expect from silly lobby groups?

    “Itís one thing to go in the wrong policy direction, but at least be honest about it.”

    Kind of like the Liberals were honest about being an environmentally-friendly government for thirteen years when their record on emissions was in fact worse than George Bush’s. Ouch!

  • Angelle Desrochers

    Please note that the Baird has had to say sorry, now with this “Turner the Corner” plan, how long will we have to wait for him to appolozise to the all of us and our kids and grandkids for not only his ‘plan”.
    I thought I would post this as I do not remember seeing this anywhere in the news.

    Attention News Editors:
    Statement – Government of Canada Clarifies Ecotrust Name Matter
    OTTAWA, April 13 /CNW Telbec/ – The Honourable John Baird, Minister of the Environment, today apologized to Ecotrust Canada for any inconvenience that may have ensued since the launch of the $1.5 billion Canada ecoTrust for Clean Air and Climate Change.
    After we launched the initiative, it came to our attention that this non-profit organization was already using the name “EcoTrust Canada”. To avoid any possibility of confusion, we have agreed to stop using this name.
    The Government of Canada is pleased that an amicable solution could be found between the two parties.
    For further information: Eric Richer, Press Secretary, Office of the
    Minister of the Environment, (613) 280-6064; Environment Canada Media
    Relations, (819) 934-8008, 1-888-908-8008

  • they think people are stupid and will believe stupid things

    I couldn’t agree more.

    I think that is one of the things that irks me about this government. It’s one thing to go in the wrong policy direction, but at least be honest about it.

  • Good for the environmental groups for declaring that the emperor has no clothes (not even the organically dyed hemp clothing you might have expected Baird to sport in honour of the occasion). Faux wardrobe, faux plan.

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