The Liberals had 13 years and didn’t get it done; so says Stephen Harper as he defends his own environment record. But his math is as non-existent as his environment record.
The Kyoto accord was ratified in Canada in December 2002. The agreement became an international agreement on February 16, 2005. That means, the worldwide strategy for tackling climate change was in affect for just one (1) year while the Liberals were in power – not thirteen years. In truth the record is: the Liberals championed the cause of global environment action and did get that first step done through a global treaty on climate change.
In contrast, Stephen Harper’s record has been to fight global action on climate change while in opposition, then when in power his government removed Liberal environment programmes from within Canada, which he is now re-offering under different names as future maybe-will-do-after-the-next budget plans. Just this past week Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, "No government in the world is going to jeopardize its short-term economic prosperity for the sake of long-term environmental action." The PM ought to know, however, the responsible position is that long-term environmental solutions, on issues like climate change, require both international and domestic action to begin in the very near-term (as the Liberals began through the Kyoto treaty and environment programmes at home).
Now is the time to stop uncritically repeating the prime ministers misrepresentations of the record. Conditions in our environment necessitate leadership and action – not prime ministerial speeches loaded with evasive rhetorical decoys justifying inaction today because he thinks environmental issues are tomorrow’s problems.