Canadian Opposition Party Threatens Fall Election Over Global Warming Policies

August 24th, 2007 11:58 AM

If you had any question as to how hot the climate change debate is getting in governments around the world, all you need do is look at our neighbor to the north for answers.

On Thursday, members of Canada's Liberal Party threatened Prime Minister Stephen Harper with a fall election if he didn't change course on his global warming policies.

I kid you not.

The Montreal Gazette reported Friday (emphasis added throughout):

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion urged Harper to apply solutions endorsed by all three opposition parties and accept a consensus that was growing among environmentalists, economists and business executives that the minority government's climate change plan is too weak to succeed.

"We believe that all political leaders have a moral obligation to do all that can be done on this critical challenge facing Canada and the world, and to put an end to the partisan politicking around this issue," Dion wrote in a letter to Harper. "To date, your approach falls far short of the best that Canada can do. I urge you to put consensus ahead of confrontation. Every day counts in this battle and we must take real action now."

Sound like our liberals and alarmists here in the States? Can you imagine Nancy Pelosi (D-California) or Harry Reid (D-Nevada) making the same silly statement?

While you ponder, the article continued:

The warning came two days after Environment Minister John Baird published a report that appears to ignore requirements of a new law, introduced and supported by the opposition parties, calling on the government to honour its international commitments under the Kyoto protocol on climate change by reducing Canada's greenhouse gas emissions by an average of six per cent below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012.

Baird has said he was forced to postpone that target in his new climate change plan until about 2025 since the previous Liberal government allowed pollution levels to rise by more than 30 per cent above the Kyoto goal. Dion said Baird's proposals are weak, when compared to a new plan, the Clean Air and Climate Change Act, endorsed last spring by the three opposition parties, which sets tougher targets and regulations to force large industries to change their practices.

At a news conference, the Liberal leader said Harper should ensure that he saves the legislation, if he goes ahead with plans to shut down Parliament and start a new session with a throne speech in October. Otherwise, Dion said Harper was risking a dangerous political confrontation in the minority Parliament.

"If they (shut down Parliament), and they go to another throne speech, everybody knows, everybody, that the risk of an election is going up," Dion said. "I can't speak for the other parties but there's no chance, or no risks I should say, that Liberal MPs would rise in support of a throne speech that we judged was going against the best interests of Canadians and the honour of our country."

For those that are curious, Canada's system is different than ours:

Under parliamentary tradition, a throne speech sets the government's agenda and can be considered a matter of confidence that could trigger an election if it's not supported by a majority of MPs.

As such, the supposed warming of the planet, which has been by no means proven to be caused by anything man is doing, could actually bring a Canadian prime minister to his knees.

How extraordinary.