Canada: Stephane Dion "Canada's Al Gore"
Barry Artiste, Now Public Contributor
Canada's Liberal Leader Stephane Dion "Going where every politician has gone before him" must be saying to himself " It's winter, Eastern Canada is a frozen tundra", I have a taxpayer funded government credit card, I'm way down in the Polls, I need a new scam..errr ah political position. I know ! There's a "Global Warming Conference in Bali, Indonesia, it's warm, inviting, tropical, exotic food, no snow.
H-m-m-m Global Warming may be that big political ticket I need to get back into the media and political spotlight. It worked for Al Gore, maybe it will work for me too. The Media and especially the Ladies are always a sucker for a "Charming French Accent", especially if I wear my jaunty beret tilted to the side, just so.
Ooooooh, perhaps Al Gore will be there, perhaps we can be best pals,moonlit walks on the beach and media photo ops a plenty . I better start practicing my hand shaking technique, hire a personal trainer and work on my base tan. I certainly can't lounge on the beach looking all pale and jaundiced with saggy man boobs.
My Final Thought
Global Warming truly is a real concern. Soooo since Politicians are so concerned about Global Warming and it's effects on the glaciers and wildlife in the Arctic, Greenland and the Antarctic, does it not make perfect sense to have these conferences held at the places most affected. But then one would wonder how well attended these conferences would be. Even at taxpayers expense of course.
Dion to attend climate summit 'for Earth, not political gain'
Mike De Souza, CanWest News Service
Published: Friday, November 30, 2007
OTTAWA - Liberal Leader Stephane Dion says his upcoming trip to a United Nations climate change summit in Indonesia has nothing to do with revitalizing his image or embarrassing the Harper government on the international stage.
Following a rocky first year, filled with ups and downs as leader of the official Opposition, Dion told CanWest News Service in an interview that he is more concerned with the risk of irreversible damage to the Earth's climate, and hopes to capitalize on his international contacts to give the planet a boost at the environmental negotiating table.
"My role is not to be a substitute for the government of Canada. My role is to try to push everyone to get a better result,"_said Dion in his office on Parliament Hill. "I'm not alone. There's also (former U.S. vice-president Al) Gore and many other people who will be doing the same thing."
Liberal leader Stephane Dion stands to speak in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa November 28, 2007.
Liberal leader Stephane Dion stands to speak in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa
A spokesperson for Prime Minister Stephen Harper immediately reacted to the news that Dion would attend the Bali conference by e-mailing reporters to remind them that the Liberal leader had said in June that he would never speak out against the government when discussing matters with representatives of other countries.
But Dion, who chaired the 2005 UN climate change summit in Montreal, said his office has already been flooded by e-mails and phone calls from international politicians, business leaders and environmental organizations, who hope to meet with him at the conference in search of solutions to stop humans from causing global warming.
"I'm not going to claim that 180 countries want to see me. But, yes, there is movement," said Dion. "As the former chairperson of the conference, with a big network and a degree of expertise, I will see what I can do to create some good momentum."
At the Montreal summit, environmentalists have credited Dion with brokering an agreement that would prevent a gap between the end of the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period in 2012 and the next set of binding targets.
Environment Minister John Baird has not yet introduced regulations to crack down on pollution from large industries in Canada, but has insisted that his government would correct the mistakes made by the previous Liberal regime, which allowed greenhouse gas emissions to soar by more than 30 per cent above the country's Kyoto target.
"It's very easy for the people who had the responsibility for 13 years to say how easy it would have been to act - when they didn't act themselves," Baird said following a breakfast speech to the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce. "But we've got a good plan and I'm confident."
Baird has said the key to a successful international agreement is getting large polluting countries such as the U.S., India and China to sign on to binding targets. His office confirms that he has met with leaders and officials from all three countries, at international conferences and in Canada.
Dion said that he visited China twice in 2005 to convince them to come to the table and is not surprised that developing countries have always rejected binding targets.
"I know that's their position. I negotiated with them and I know this very well," Dion said. "I'm not telling you that everything would be solved if I was there."
Even so, he said, "I was at the conference in Montreal and we succeeded getting these countries to enter into a dialogue for the first time."
Dion accused the Conservative government of stalling the process by giving up on Canada's Kyoto Protocol commitments and holding out on a new deal instead of leading other countries by being the first to sign on.
He said Canada had more credibility when it was still trying to meet its targets and demonstrate to developing countries, where millions of people do not have electricity, that it is possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without devastating the economy.
The Harper government has refused to invite opposition parties as part of its official delegation because, it says, it wants to avoid partisan bickering. All three parties have said they will send delegates at their own expense.