Tuesday, August 29, 2006

On smoke-filled rooms

The preliminary reviews are in on the Cons' environmental "consultations" - and environmental groups are understandably frustrated at the Cons' unwillingness to actually consult about anything:
"There were no outcomes, no goals and no vision. I was really quite disappointed," said Mike Russill, president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund Canada...

"They didn't give us enough detail to evaluate what they were talking about," said Rick Smith, executive director of Environmental Defence, a Toronto activist group that has been measuring chemical levels in prominent Canadians...

In a note to colleagues at the World Wildlife Fund, Russill judged the meetings to be nothing more than a public relations exercise: "They did this so they can claim to have talked to various groups before introducing the measures. But they talked about objectives without once ever telling us what the objectives were," he said.
Not that it should come as a surprise that the Cons are more interested in a fig leaf for later use than in actually talking to the groups most concerned with Canada's environment. Fortunately, the groups in question aren't willing to stay quiet about being used that way. But it remains to be seen whether they'll be able to push any of the policy-making process into the open, or whether the sole public component will once again consist of the Cons trying to arm-twist Canadians into believing that it's their way or nothing.

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