Monday, December 11, 2006

Paging Rona Ambrose - Again


While Stockwell Day cracks jokes about global warming a group of 700 scientists have sent a letter to Harper urging action on the issue which threatens to melt Arctic ice by 2040. Meanwhile, Rona Ambrose is calling for an audit of climate change programs so she can waste more time:

OTTAWA (CP) - Environment Minister Rona Ambrose wants the auditor general to review all federal climate programs to determine whether the public is getting value for its money.

The audit could renew attention on the flawed Liberal record on climate change when the Conservatives are having trouble with their own agenda on the issue.

Some opposition critics say the timing of the audit is absurd, since the Conservatives have already cancelled most of the climate programs which existed under the previous government.

Ambrose has been under pressure to explain cancellation of the Liberal programs such as EnerGuide, which provided subsidies for people to upgrade the energy-efficiency of their homes.

That and a number of other Liberal programs had been deemed effective in previous internal assessments.

A new COMPAS poll of business leaders shows that they loathe the Kyoto protocol (quel surprise) but they're also very critical of Ambrose's non-performance:

Dissatisfied with what they perceived to be poor justifications for environmental initiatives, the business leaders were critical of both Rona Ambrose's performance as Minister of the Environment in the Stephen Harper government and of Mr. Dion's actions when he filled the same role in Paul Martin's government.
[...]
On a 100-point report-card-style scale, business leaders gave Mr. Dion a grade of 38 on his past performance as Canada's environment minister. Present minister Ms. Ambrose does not fare much better, with a 43.

How she even managed to get 43% approval is beyond me except for the fact that she's pandering to their interests by not being aggressive on policies that might hurt their bottom lines.

She might actually learn something if she stopped cancelling her appearances at the global warming committee but that's apparently too much of a threat to her rigid thinking and ideas. I wonder if she'll show up in court when she's due to testify in the lawsuit filed against her.

Ambrose was also taken to task last week by Stephane Dion after the government made their announcement about dealing with toxic chemicals:

Ottawa - The Conservative government’s delayed and deceptive announcement on toxic chemicals in Canada is jeopardizing the health of Canadians, Liberal Opposition Leader St├ęphane Dion said today.

“If the health of Canadians is a priority for Mr. Harper’s minority government, why did Minister Ambrose delay taking action for three months, only to come out with such a weak plan that won’t be implemented until 2010?” said Mr. Dion.
[...]
“After years of hard work undertaken by hundreds of people, this toxics report was delivered on time but has collected dust on the Minister’s desk since the middle of September,” said Mr. Dion.

“Canadians deserve fast action and a fulsome plan when it comes to providing protection from exposure to these toxins, not delays, followed by watered down measures.”

Stakeholders and officials within the department had expected at least 400 chemicals would be placed on the List of Toxic Substances (Schedule 1 of CEPA 1999) within a year. Mr. Harper’s announcement today proposed listing only half that amount, over the next four years, with no clear plan for a regulatory regime.

Not only did the Harper government commit to listing just 200 substances; it also failed to assure Canadians that the regulation of these substances would proceed through CEPA.

Mr. Dion agrees with the Canadian Environmental Law Association, which estimated 500 toxins should be immediately placed on the List of Toxic Substances.

Rona Ambrose: all hat, no cattle.

And, speaking of cows.... That certainly won't go over well here in Alberta, Ambrose and Harper's home. Not only are the oil and gas companies under attack over global warming, now the cattle are too. I suspect the Tory government will now want to study that revelation for a few years coming back with an action plan with targets to be met somewhere around 2070, as is their style. Why do today what you can do decades from now?

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