header image
The world according to David Graham


acva bili chpc columns committee conferences elections environment essays ethi faae foreign foss guelph hansard highways history indu internet leadership legal military money musings newsletter oggo pacp parlchmbr parlcmte politics presentations proc qp radio reform regs rnnr satire secu smem statements tran transit tributes tv unity

Recent entries

  1. Why do lockdowns and pandemic restrictions continue to exist?
  2. Parliamentary privilege: an arcane concept that can prevent coups
  3. It's not over yet
  4. Trump will win in 2020 (and keep an eye on 2024)
  5. A podcast with Michael Geist on technology and politics
  6. Next steps
  7. On what electoral reform reforms
  8. 2019 Fall campaign newsletter / infolettre campagne d'automne 2019
  9. 2019 Summer newsletter / infolettre été 2019
  10. 2019-07-15 SECU 171
  11. 2019-06-20 RNNR 140
  12. 2019-06-17 14:14 House intervention / intervention en chambre
  13. 2019-06-17 SECU 169
  14. 2019-06-13 PROC 162
  15. 2019-06-10 SECU 167
  16. 2019-06-06 PROC 160
  17. 2019-06-06 INDU 167
  18. 2019-06-05 23:27 House intervention / intervention en chambre
  19. 2019-06-05 15:11 House intervention / intervention en chambre
  20. 2019-06-04 INDU 166
  21. 2019-06-03 SECU 166
  22. 2019 June newsletter / infolettre juin 2019
  23. 2019-05-30 RNNR 137
  24. 2019-05-30 PROC 158
  25. 2019-05-30 INDU 165
  26. 2019-05-29 SECU 165
  27. 2019-05-29 ETHI 155
  28. 2019-05-28 ETHI 154
  29. 2019-05-28 ETHI 153
  30. 2019-05-27 ETHI 151
  31. older entries...

Liberals don't know how to oppose and Conservatives don't know how to govern

To a Conservative, governing means three things: destroy the nation's finances by cutting taxes to below the government's spending, attack basic privacy of citizens, and throw all of our money at the military, an organisation that they seem to believe will at some point say "ok, we have enough now." To a Liberal, being in opposition means allowing the government to govern while proposing to Canadians the alternatives that they could have had juxtaposed against each Conservative policy, on the rare occasion that one exists. We see it again now with the proposed Greenshift.

Whatever you think of the Greenshift concept, the fact is that Stéphane Dion and the Liberal opposition is taking its role as a "government in waiting" more seriously than any predecessor opposition ever has. While the Conservatives use an oil spill as their environmental mascot, the Liberals are putting forward detailed new policy that would change the way we do business as a country. Canadians are, by and large, of the opinion that the environment is a serious issue that needs addressing and the Greenshift concept takes the best of both a carbon tax and a cap-and-trade system to begin to prepare to start to do something about it.

The fact that people are complaining that some particularly egregious environmental behaviour will become more expensive to do shows exactly why this is the way forward. If using unclean energy costs more, then people will use unclean energy less, a result tacitly admitted by the opponents of the Greenshift. The gradual but relentless increase in cost will give people time to start considering their alternatives as their bills begin to rise faster than their taxes are cut for some activities. In essence, the Greenshift gives Canadians an opportunity to put our money where our collective mouths are.

The Conservative Party of Canada, our current opposition-in-waiting, continues to brand Stéphane Dion as "not a leader" which is increasingly showing itself to be patently false. No previous opposition leader has ever led the country and our national debate the way Dion has managed to. The Conservatives themselves have shown no leadership whatsoever on any file. Even on the Residential School apology, Harper admitted to the entire country that it was brought about by the NDP's leadership on the matter, not his own, before turning around and putting in policy to address concerns about the apology raised by CPC MP Pierre Poilievre.

To cap it off, Dion has challenged Harper to have a televised "adult" debate on the Green Shift. No doubt Mr. Harper will be in a great hurry to take up the challenge and defend his record on leadership and the environment.

Posted at 07:56 on June 23, 2008

This entry has been archived. Comments can no longer be posted.

Another highway project, another MTO fallacy | environment leadership politics | GTA West study public information night

Tom Robinson writes at Mon Jun 23 11:07:42 EDT 2008...

Funny how you left wing dummies think that Dion's plan will have any effect on the environment.

We are only responsible for 2% of global emmissions so Dion's tax grab will not fly with mentally sound Canadians.

Global warming is nothing but a left wing dream whose goal it is to take money from the rich and give it to the poor.

Dion is NOT A LEADER, but rather a little rat whose time as leader is coming to an end.

David Graham (cdlu.net) writes at Mon Jun 23 11:15:27 EDT 2008...


You're right. Canada's contribution to the world's global emissions is only around 2%. Personally, I'd like to keep it there or get that number down.

Right now most of the rest of the world is showing leadership on the issue and our country is falling behind, so our share of the world's global emissions is on its way to becoming statistically significant.

It's telling of your narrow mind that you think that because our share is small we should do nothing about it.

Larry writes at Mon Jun 23 11:39:45 EDT 2008...

I think it's more telling that Liberals would foist this kind of plan on inhabitants of a vast country that is cold 9 months of the year. How else are we supposed to survive? We'll be pricing ourselves out of existence by making it costly just to do what we have to do...heat our houses or drive our cars from one distant place to another.

I think this is political postering of the worst kind. Dion is nothing but a rich Liberal who makes a loud noise but doesn't actually think before he speaks.

MER1978 writes at Mon Jun 23 12:59:08 EDT 2008...

Tom Robinson said...

"We are only responsible for 2% of global emmissions so Dion's tax grab will not fly with mentally sound Canadians."

Mentally sound Canadians might notice that we only make up 0.5% of the world's population.

JimBobby (jimbobbysez.blogspot.com) writes at Mon Jun 23 13:09:51 EDT 2008...

Whooee! Even if you're an AGW skeptic or someone who thinks our 25% is negligible, there are many advantages to the tax shift idea. GHG emissions are closely related to other pollutants. From tailpipe exhaust to the Nanticoke smokestacks in my backyard, GHG's and particulate poisons are part of the same emission package. When we reduce GHG's we reduce many conventional pollutants at the same time.

While some may doubt AGW, I suspect most accept the fact that pollution kills. "Bad air days" in the Great Lakes basin are killing people. The latest estimate of premature Canadian deaths due to poor air quality is 9,000+/year. The most conservative estimates put the figure at 3,000. Take your pick. Neither is acceptable.

All those bad air days have a serious financial impact on our public health care system. We pay billions to treat avoidable health problems.

Tom, calling people "dummies" and "rats" is the sort of thing Dion was referring to when he said we need a respectful, adult debate. Resorting to name-calling and repeating negative CPC slogans in all caps adds nothing to a debate on the type of planet we're leaving for our children and grandchildren.


JimBobby (jimbobbysez.blogspot.com) writes at Mon Jun 23 13:11:18 EDT 2008...

Typo: that 25% should have been 2%

Oldschool writes at Mon Jun 23 15:56:06 EDT 2008...

There was a time when Canadians paid no income tax . . . imagine that, the money you earned through your hard work was yours.

JimBob . . . and none of those folks died from CO2 . . . which is what the GW thing is all about.

I am all for cleaning up emissions, but CO2 is not toxic . . . its plant food . . . remember grade 9 biology Photosynthisis? We would all cease to exist if there was no CO2.

CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas, comprising a tiny fraction of a percent of the atmosphere, water vapour being the major greenhouse gas . . . why are we not controlling water vapour?

The enviro-whacks have led us from one disaster to another . . . remember DDT, Acid Rain, The Ozone non-issue, and now they are drinking GW koolaid. Al the Goricle has made over 100 million since he left office with the GW nonsense, and any govt tax policy will only cost us all money.

Taxes need to be reduced not increased, govt needs to be like General Motors . . . downsizing!!!!

sheila e. writes at Mon Jun 23 17:36:01 EDT 2008...

Well Oldschool, I couldn't disagree with you more. Call me a tax-and-spend leftie all you want, I wear the mantle proudly. I am proud of the fact that we have social policy that looks out for those who are unable to look out for themselves. I am proud that we have infrastructure that allows us to provide the services we need to keep our country going, although maintenance and improvement of most of those have been starved to a state of advanced malnutrition by tax and spending cuts in the last dozen years. It is our profligate individual waste and our acceptance of the corporatist agenda that has caused the belt tightening that we see all around us. We have ample resources, both natural and human, to support everyone in our country properly, to provide good health care and top-notch education. But we prefer to think that every dollar that we send to a government is somehow wasted. Who supplies our roads, schools, hospitals, police forces and all the lesser services like garbage collection, snow clearance and parks? Would you be willing to pay directly for any of them? Or even take on the burden of managing any? Until you are, accept that society can only function with the willing cooperation of its citizens. The money we earn is still ours, but it is not only ours individually, it is ours collectively, too.

Joseph writes at Mon Jun 23 22:14:44 EDT 2008...

Well, you certainly got a debate going, and like the federal government, the Conservative supporters, true to the form displayed by their leaders, are calling people names, bullying and insulting.

Imagine where we'd be if we were still using DDT...

Enviro-whacks?? Left-wing dummies?? Dion has a point when he appeals for an adult debate.

JimBobby (jimbobbysez.blogspot.com) writes at Tue Jun 24 09:42:38 EDT 2008...

I am all for cleaning up emissions, but CO2 is not toxic


From Wikipedia:

"Carbon dioxide is a colorless, odorless gas. When inhaled at concentrations much higher than usual atmospheric levels, it can produce a sour taste in the mouth and a stinging sensation in the nose and throat. These effects result from the gas dissolving in the mucous membranes and saliva, forming a weak solution of carbonic acid. This sensation can also occur during an attempt to stifle a burp after drinking a carbonated beverage. Amounts above 5,000 ppm are considered very unhealthy, and those above about 50,000 ppm (equal to 5% by volume) are considered dangerous to animal life"


Although a sudden outgassing of CO2 had occurred at Lake Monoun in 1984, killing 37 local residents, a similar threat from Lake Nyos was not anticipated. However, on August 21, 1986, a limnic eruption occurred at Lake Nyos which triggered the sudden release of about 1.6 million tonnes of CO2. The gas spilled over the northern lip of the lake into a valley running roughly east-west from Cha to Subum, and then rushed down two valleys branching off it to the north, displacing all the air and suffocating some 1,700 people within 20 km of the lake, mostly rural villagers, as well as 3,500 livestock. Worst affected villages were Cha, Nyos, and Subum. About 4,000 inhabitants fled the area, and many of these developed respiratory problems, lesions, and paralysis as a result of the gases.


(RSS) Website generating code and content © 2001-2020 David Graham <david@davidgraham.ca>, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. Comments are © their respective authors.