Sunday, September 17, 2006

On hot air masses

The Cons have consistently demonstrated their complete disinterest in dealing with global warming as an international problem. But the CP reports that when it comes to investing in votes rather than environmental results, it may be a different story:
Environment Minister Rona Ambrose's emissions plan, set to be released in the coming months, is said to be strongly inspired by Quebec's own emission plan, adopted last June...

Officials in Quebec's environment ministry took advantage of the thaw in relations, sending Ottawa a long list of programs it wanted financed.

A draft of the federal plan, obtained by The Canadian Press, suggests Ottawa will place a priority on transportation projects aimed at cutting greenhouse emissions, thought to be responsible for certain elements of climate change.

Provincial Environment Minister Claude Bechard said in an interview Friday that Quebec decided to ask for "more rather than less" in the hopes of hitting the jackpot.

Bechard, who met with his federal counterpart last Monday, said he expects Quebec to receive "at least $328 million and maybe more."

But sources close to the negotiations say the $328 million figure is "a paltry sum," and believe the Tories will give Quebec significantly more in the hopes of improving its electoral fortunes in the province come election time.

Funding became a hot-button issue during Quebec's negotiations with Martin's government.

The Liberals handed over $538 million to Ontario in 2005, and Quebec calculated that it deserved $328 million.
Needless to say, any solution actually targetted toward dealing with global warming should involve targetting funding based on what's most likely to actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And it's no surprise that the Cons are utterly unwilling to move in that direction. (In that regard, it's worth noting that the Cons only claim to be "inspired" by the Quebec plan, which presumably means ignoring Canada's committed Kyoto targets which Quebec plans to meet.)

But far be it from the Cons to miss an opportunity to use a facade of interest in emission reductions as an excuse to hand money to Quebec's provincial government. And even more striking is the Cons' apparent willingness to delegate its policy-making to a single province, with no regard for the varying issues that face different regions of the country in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Which should emphasize that while the Cons are doing their best to claim to be environmentally conscious, they're much more interested in the theatre of announcing funding than actually achieving any results. And that leaves only the question of whether enough Canadians will see through the mask to ensure that the Cons aren't rewarded for their cynicism.

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