Thursday, February 01, 2007

Dion on the Defensive

Poor Stephane! Not only does he have to endure being lambasted about the Liberal's poor environmental record in the House of Commons and in Tory television ads, but today he was dealt a brutal smack-down from the National Post's John Ivison.

Well, let's back up a bit. Yesterday, Ivison quoted Dion in his column yesterday, 'New' Clean Air Act is bad - for Dion:

"In 2008, I will be part of Kyoto but I will say to the world I don't think I will make it."

Stephane Dion responded in the Post's "Letter's to the Editor". (Didn't even make Letter of the Day, BTW). Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your POV) the letter is not available on-line at the moment. I sent them an inquiry about it and am still waiting. One can only assume that the online editor did not think it merited inclusion.

However, Mr. Dion attempts to clarify his position:

"What I said and wrote many times last summer - and I seem to be obligated to repeat again - is that the important part of my comment is in 2008".

(That sounded a tad whiny, Stephane.)

The fatal error here however, is that you should never take on a political pundit on their own turf. Ivison shot back with his column in today's paper "Duplicitous or duped?"

Ivison is basically suggesting that Dion is either deliberately misleading Canadians for political gain, or else he is just so naive he doesn't have a clue.

CCC has analyzed this in detail so I won't duplicate his efforts.

Here's what I want to know - Is Paul Russell going to enforce his two-week rule if Dion wants to file another rebuttal?

From the 15 Tips:

"- Know the two-week rule. In an effort to allow as many readers as possible to have their say on our pages, we aim to space out contributions by letter writers by at least two weeks."

I don't want to see any two-tier letter selection going on here, Paul.


Joe Calgary said...

This cut and pasted from my post today:

On February 1, 2005, this is what Mr. Dion had to say to Mr. Layton on the subject of spending money abroad to buy Emissions Credits:

Mr. Jack Layton (Toronto—Danforth, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, those are the classic weasel words in the debates. What we are talking about here is respect and long term commitments. It is very simple: we have targets and we need to meet them.

What we are hearing now are the Liberals suggesting that we buy air from Russia to meet our commitments under the Kyoto plan.

We have 5,000 people a year in Ontario dying due to smog. Why do we not spend money cleaning the air for people right here in Canada instead of buying Russian hot air with Canadian tax dollars?

Hon. St├ęphane Dion (Minister of the Environment, Lib.):

Mr. Speaker, I invite the leader of the NDP to calm down a bit and to slow down.
First, we will never buy hot air from Russia. He does not have to worry about that. Second, the Minister of Natural Resources believes in Kyoto and has said very clearly that he wants to develop the economy but not at the expense of the environment. We must respect what the Minister of Natural Resources said. He is a green minister himself too.

Funny, that's not what his "Green Plan" says:

Page 21 of 55 "The Green Plan" – The purchase of international credits provided that these represent verified emmision reductions

Oh but wait, it goes further:

Page 22 of 55 "The Green Plan" - In the initial years, Fund purchases will primarily be directed to domestic projects. During this period, participation in the international market will take the form of purchases from emission reduction projects in developing countries and some purchases of options for future investment in “greened” credits. It is expected that the Fund’s participation in the international carbon market will evolve over time, as we gain experience and our domestic climate change regime develops.

To facilitate the process of international purchases, the Government may develop MoUs with countries of interest. The “greening” of any international credit purchases would be governed by a bilateral agreement between the government of Canada and the seller country in which Canada would want to ensure both environmental benefits and trade benefi ts for Canadian companies. Such agreements would ensure environmental benefits by stipulating that 100 percent of the proceeds from the purchase must be reinvested in projects and activities that contribute to GHG emission reductions in the seller country.

Sure looks like spending our money in other countries to me, but how much? oh wait, that answers on the same page:

2008–2012 period, with funding in the order of $4–5 billion.

Well Mr. Dion, are you spending that money here in Canada? Oh look, that answers on page 22 as well:

It is not possible to predict how many of these reductions will occur domestically. The Climate Fund will give a priority to domestic emission reductions. However, the amount of domestic emission reductions that will be realized depends on many factors, including: the entrepreneurial spirit of Canadians and their interest in finding innovative means of reducing emissions; the success of the Climate Fund in tapping into that spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation; how “market friendly” are the rules for domestic offset creation; and the economic and fiscal circumstances at that time. The Government has great confidence in the innovative spirit of Canadians; a great deal of interest is already being expressed with respect to the Climate Fund.

Soccermom said...

Dion is really starting to look like a one-trick pony. Sheeeesh!

PGP said...

Apparently Mark Holland stuck his foot in his oversized mouth today on Adler.....
He Told Adler that the Liberals plan on "Controlling" the Alberta Oilsands ...Good luck with your next career Mark!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

He Told Adler that the Liberals plan on "Controlling" the Alberta Oilsands

Seriously? Any links or audio clips? That guy's mouth is way too big for his own good.

Chuckercanuck said...

amazing, we are all on the same exact page.

Joanne, as you'll see if you head my way, I too found that little "I seem to be obligated" bit so friggin' passive aggresive I nearly choked. Yes, yes, we are all demented ants compare to Zeus-like Dion.

Arrrrgggh. Silver lining: if you zoned in on that and I zoned in on that, then everybody noticed how irritating that was.

Mac said...

Links to audio clips from Adler...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Chucker - Yes, very condescending. No wonder Ivison took him down.

Mac, thanks. I'm going to check that out.

liberal supporter said...

Thanks for the quote joe. Looks to me like the money going to other countries would only go if they buy our technology to do the emission reductions projects. So wouldn't the money come back?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Wow! Talk about Liberal arrogance. Holland takes the cake! Nanny State will take over the oil sands, and slow down production. Nice.

Adler's great though, eh?

Brian in Calgary said...

Looks to me like the money going to other countries would only go if they buy our technology to do the emission reductions projects. So wouldn't the money come back?

One would hope so. The only problem is: if such a purchase was the only way we could make our Kyoto commitment, would we still get credit for meeting our commitment? And, who would get to decide as to whether the money was properly spent by the country selling the credits? If it was an agency related to the United Nations, then forget it (remember the oil for food scandal?).

Brian in Calgary said...

He Told Adler that the Liberals plan on "Controlling" the Alberta Oilsands.

I just listened to the audio clip of Tim Holland's statement. If Stephane Dion wishes to entertain any realistic chance of winning any seats here in Alberta, then he better disavow what his member said. This would make the furor over the NEP from the early 1980s look like a tea party.

The only reason western separatism didn't get a foothold in Alberta a quarter century ago was that they were too tied up in white supremacy. If any federal government tried any such stunt as what Tim Holland suggests, then support for the Separation Party of Alberta would take off.

Brian in Calgary said...

Gulp. Sorry. I should have said "Mark" Holland. Joanne, I really should brush up my proof reading skills. Feel free to put me in the penalty box for two minutes.

Cherniak_WTF said...

So I guess we have a bunch of people here that think that Alberta projets should spew all the pollution they want?

Alder is cheap version of Rush and twice as stupid (and that is quite the feat).

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I should have said "Mark" Holland. Joanne,

That's o.k. Brian. I know what you meant.

BTW, I wonder what the game plan is here...

Cherniak_WTF said...

BTW, I wonder what the game plan is here...
The obvious is too simple for you?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Actually I'm kind of involved in a similar discussion at Prairie Wrangler and ChuckerCanuk.

Cherniak_WTF said...

I actually like Olaf.... but not enough to hang out there...

liberal supporter said...

brian in calgary: Yes, you can just throw money at meeting your commitments. Supposedly you can finance an emission control project in some other country if it is cheaper to get the same ghg reductions, and they count as yours since you bought the technology change.

Oil for food is of course an example of a badly run corrupt program. A better example would be the Montreal Protocol on CFC's. It used a trading system, and it seems the ozone layer is on the mend.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I actually like Olaf.... but not enough to hang out there...

Mmm... Does that mean you like me a lot? ;)

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Supposedly you can finance an emission control project in some other country if it is cheaper to get the same ghg reductions, and they count as yours since you bought the technology change.

L.S. - The critical word there is supposedly.

Kyoto is a great plan in theory, but if the targets are unrealistic and unachievable, then what?

Mac said...

Actually, Kyoto isn't a plan. Calling it a plan implies there's something there to guide us. It's just a set of arbitrary goals and deadlines to reduce six GHGs, coupled to a commitment to financially punish countries who don't meet those goals or deadlines.

Kyoto is like the UN setting up bowling pins in the middle of a field and saying "You have one year to knock those pins down in compliance with the rules of bowling or we'll have to empty your bank accounts!"

We don't have a ball. We don't have a building. We don't have a hardwood alley or gutters or a pin setting machine. We don't have a copy of the rules and our understand of the rules is being provided by a gaggle of mad scientists who are dancing around screaming and pulling their hair out by the handful.

If Kyoto was a plan, we'd be provided the rules, the technical specifications, the blueprints, maybe even a building permit. We have nothing but a field, a bunch of pins and our signature on a blank cheque held by someone at the UN.