Monday, February 05, 2007

A promising sign

CanWest reports on John Baird's Question Period appearance. But while Baird's "doublespeak" manages to win the headline, the more interesting story is a renewed possibility for opposition cooperation on the environment:
Environment Minister John Baird urged all the federal parties Sunday to put partisanship aside to get moving on the environment file in the wake of the global climate-change report.

But then he proceeded to take several partisan shots at the Liberals and their leader Stephane Dion during a CTV Question Period interview from Paris where a global panel of scientists declared global warming unequivocal and mostly caused by humans...

Baird never once mentioned the New Democratic Party, which holds the balance of power in the Commons, and has proposed 15 amendments to radically change the proposed Clean Air Act.

Among other things the NDP would set much tougher greenhouse-gas emission reduction targets, impose strong vehicle fuel-efficiency standards, and eliminate key tax incentives to the oil and gas sector.

Dion said Friday he agrees with the NDP's "orientation" though he declined comment on specific proposals.
Naturally, there's an obvious need for the details to be discussed for the hint to be transformed into reality. But there doesn't seem to be much reason why Dion would echo the NDP's "orientation" without also having some willingness to work with the NDP's ideas.

Which means that the best option for dealing with the legislation now before Parliament - that of an opposition-party deal which will force the Cons to either reluctantly go along or call an election as the anti-environment party - may still be a reasonable possibility. As before, it all comes down to whether or not the Libs are willing to work with the NDP and the Bloc to agree on what needs to be done...but there's more reason for hope now than has been apparent for some time.

No comments:

Post a Comment