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The Bearded One Takes a Swing at Keystone XL and Canada’s Environmental Record

2013/03/13

The leader of the NDP, Thomas Mulcair, is in Washington D.C. this week to meet with leaders of the American Congress.  One of the topics of conversation has been the Keystone XL pipeline.  While he acknowledged that the final decision laid in the hands of the Americans, Mulcair did his best highlight the risk that the pipeline poses to our change.

…A president who has repeatedly identified climate change as one of humanity’s most pressing dangers cannot in good conscience approve [the Keystone pipeline] project that — even by the State Department’s most cautious calculations — can only add to the problem.

He also took the opportunity to take a swing at Canada’s track record on the environment.

In the U.S. people know how to read.  They know that Canada is the only country that has withdrawn from Kyoto. They know that the Conservatives can’t possibly meet their Copenhagen targets (on greenhouse gas emissions) precisely because of the oilsands. They have to stop playing people for fools.

Unfortunately, this was when Mulcair’s brain seemed to shut down as he added that he’d rather see a cross-Canada pipeline.  (Head slamming against the wall!)

Anyways…

As you probably guessed, the federal Conservatives did not take this lying down.  Here is Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver’s reply, courtesy of an Op Ed in the Globe and Mail:

We expect Mr. Mulcair to stand up for Canadian workers and their families. We hope he will not repeat the mistake of his deputy leader and travel abroad to lobby against approval of this critical project, especially at a critical moment prior to the presidential decision.

A responsible politician would not travel to a foreign capital to score cheap political points. I call on Mr. Mulcair to make Americans aware of the reality – that Canadian measures to combat global warming are as good as, or better, than those taken in the United States. He ought to point out that Canada, which has aligned its greenhouse gas emissions goals with the United States, is already halfway to our target of a 17 per cent reduction from 2005 levels by 2020. Trying to undermine this important message would endanger Canadian jobs and economic prosperity.

Someone should tell Minister Oliver and Leader Mulcair that battling climate change while expanding the Tar Sands is like buying more and more drugs while trying to kick the habit.  In the end, you just end up with an overdose.

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