Opposition critics meet first time since signing coalition
Three federal environment opposition critics Liberal Ken Dryden, Bloc Bernard Bigras, and NDP Linda Duncan, along with Green party leader Elizabeth came together to discuss climate change with the 25 Canadian youth attending the UN climate conference in Poznan, Poland. According to the group, this was the first time that members of the coalition had come together to focus on a specific issue.
"It's dance time, and its a difficult time," commented Dryden, the M.P. for York-Centre.
"There is a new face in terms of expression of the Canadian position, but the words behind the face are different. The Canadian position is a waiting position, waiting for Obama," he said.
NDP Linda Duncan, M.P. for Edmonton-Strathcona, said that the real issue for Canada will be energy integration, and although Obama represents a new page for America's climate policies, we will still have to be vigilant. "We're going to do this with a friendly president, so we have to be more aware. It's about the whole future of Canada."
Dryden countered that Prime Minister Harper has always been a skeptic of the climate change science, and his "change" on the issue was only a political change once he started to realize Canadians cared about action on climate change.
"Mr. Harper never established climate change as a priority."
The conversation also quickly turned to the coalition government, with the pro-roguing of the government just occurring a week ago.
"I can see why there are a few oppositions in the public mind (to the coalition)", commented Dryden.
"This isn't part of our tradition in any way that it feels like its there, a precedence. Also it is this anxious time, so that also make me feel disquieted by it."
"And it also has to do with the support of the Bloc," he said.
Dryden said that Bloc support to a coalition government for the average Canadian outside of Quebec made Canadians squirm just a little bit. But he said that there were examples of coalition governments all over the world that were successful.
"Mr. Harper has absolutely poisoned the dynamics of parliament, there is no real possibility to trust him. He has lost his right to govern, we need a new Prime Minister," he said.
Elizabeth May perhaps has the sternest words for the Prime Minister and his climate policy: "I would rather die than to see government block progress on the only agreement we are going to get (on climate change)," she said.
"He wasn't elected Prime Minister. He was elected to his seat, as were 308 people. The Prime Minister is not the President."