As you might know, recently Canada withdrew from the Kyoto protocol shortly after the Durban conference — what our next steps are once Kyoto ends — came to agreement. While the problems with the Kyoto protocol are myriad, including that it didn’t go far enough, didn’t include the top climate destroyers, and explicitly excluded carbon taxes as a means to achieve reductions, it was in fact something. The Durban talks involved what to do for each country in light of their progress toward achieving lower emissions overall, and it’s fairly self-evident that Canada withdrew to avoid the international scorn they had coming. Not that they avoided any of the scorn by withdrawing — such a blatantly transparent responsibility dodge was not lost on anyone.
In the House of Commons on Wednesday, NDP MP Megan Leslie questioned Environment minister Peter Kent over Canada’s withdrawl from Kyoto. His response was galling.
Kent suggested that Leslie should have been in Durban, South Africa, for the recent UN climate change conference, which prompted howls from the opposition benches because opposition MPs were banned from being part of Canada’s delegation at the conference.
Nobody in Parliament was informed that delegation members were entirely chosen from the Conservative government, until two days after the Durban registration had closed. For the first time in my memory, a delegation to a foreign country to hammer out an international agreement contained nobody from the government’s opposition party, and was manipulated such that nobody COULD join the delegation but those who would toe the Conservative line: unilateral withdrawl and total inaction on climate change.
Kent prevented anyone but Conservatives from joining the talks at Durban, then chided Leslie for not being part of the talks at Durban.
Justin Trudeau, son of Pierre Elliot Trudeau, leapt to his feet and said “oh you piece of shit!”
He then promptly and immediately apologized to the House for his “unparliamentary” language. Kent said he wasn’t bothered by the language from “the Liberal rump [who] is somewhat out of sorts as this government corrects one of the biggest blunders the previous Liberal government ever made”, but that Trudeau should apologize to the House. Speaker of the House Andrew Scheer pointed out that Trudeau had actually just apologized, correcting the record.
I don’t really think Trudeau should have apologized for his outburst at all, personally. Though I’m sure there are ways to express your frustration with having had your face ground in the dirt by this last election’s sore winners for a year that don’t involve swear words, words that the Conservatives — the party that complains about the necessity political correctness, despite having manufactured the ‘fuddle duddle’ controversy of Trudeau’s father — surely would not have rankled over. Not that Tories haven’t called people “slut” or “Sambo” or “baby” or “bitch” or “shitty” themselves or anything.
Environment minister Peter Kent has no intentions of stewarding the environment whatsoever, and he stonewalled the very people who he chided for not being involved in the talks at Durban. He is a piece of shit. Justin Trudeau is unequivocally correct in his passionate assessment.
The National Post (despite calling this a ‘new low’ in Parliamentary behaviour, which my last link should prove wrong) included a very nice piece of analysis by Michael Behiels.
University of Ottawa political science expert Michael Behiels said there is no doubt the Conservatives are responsible for the explosions of anger by continuing to press and to heckle and to try to undermine opposition parties at every opportunity despite having a majority government.
“And I think the opposition has its back against the wall and doesn’t know what to do,” he said. “Not a single opposition amendment has been accepted. Everything they try to do is basically laughed at, dismissed. So the opposition MPs have had it, and it’s just pouring out.”
Behiels predicted this pattern would continue for the foreseeable future.
“Harper’s won his majority after 20 years [of] fighting for it and he’s basically decided he’s going to stick it in the opposition’s faces at every opportunity,” he said. “They just cannot let up with this sort of mentality.”
I cannot disagree. We’ve got between 4 and 8 years more of this nonsense. Tempers are going to continue to flare if opposition is to be derided and steamrolled at every turn, especially considering that previous governments — even the majority governments that have existed in the past — did not mistreat the opposition this way.