Spoof Gets Real
I am sitting in the press briefing room where Canadian Minister of the Environment, Jim Prentice, is meant to be showing up for a press conference. Outside Equiterre Head Steven Guilbeault and PMO spokesperson Dimitri Soudas are having a heated conversation.
The big news at the moment emanates from press release that was circulated this morning, ostensibly from Environment Canada. The release titled "CANADA ANNOUNCES NEW AGENDA FOR CLIMATE AND WORLD DEVELOPMENT," broke with current policy to announce two bold new commitments: cutting emissions by 40% below 1990 by 2020, and "committing
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Europe filed a story based on the release titled, "Canada Announces Major Shift at COP15 Climate Summit. Declares new emissions reduction targets, outlines pilot program on adaptation financing for Africa." The story quoted the Ugandan spokesperson, who praised
The problem is the press release is not real. Five per cent of GDP would be $65 billion per year that
Dimitri Soudas reacted bitterly to the press release and angerily fingered Equiterre Head, Steven Guilbeault as the source.
On my way in to the press conference, Guilbeault ran over to me to explain what had happened, and for the record denied being the source of the spoof release and expressed disappointment that the government would finger him so publicly without even calling or e-mailing him. Guilbeault is demanding an apology from the Harper Government.