Stretching credulity to breaking point

Sometimes you see the most ridiculous things that stretch credulity to the breaking point. An example is a piece in the Toronto Sun by former Conservative MP Monte Solberg headlined:
"Harper government is a conservation leader."

You have to wonder what Solberg, a long-time favourite of Conservative bloggers, has been smoking since he left public office. He trots out a few examples of nature conservancy and Ducks Unlimited initiatives to support his preposterous thesis.

The reality of course is that the Harper government has an abyssmal record on environmental and conservation issues. Their position on climate change, or lack of a position that entails anything other than propping up Big Oil, is well known. Canada was the laughing stock of the recent Copenhagen Conference and won more fossil awards than the space available to accommodate them in Ottawa. This is still the bald fact notwithstanding Rex Murphy's sarcastic comments in today's National Post about the advocates of the need to take measures to address and mitigate the effects of climate change. Rex used to always get carried away by the sound of his own voice and mastery of arcane words even when I knew him at Memorial University. He's beginning to sound a bit like David Warren, resident fossil at the Ottawa Citizen.

But I digress. Nothing exemplifies more clearly the poor track record of the Harper government on conservation issues than its recent sell-out of Canadian interests in the renogtiation of the Convention for the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries, i.e. the NAFO issue. The House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, after extensive hearings, called on the Harper government to reject the proposed NAFO amendments and to launch an objection to kill the ratification process. The House of Commons itself by majority vote adopted a motion by Liberal Fisheries critic Gerry Byrne calling on the government to scuttle the amendments. In line with its general disdain for Parliament and all things democratic, the Harper government proceeded the very next day to announce Canadian ratification of the NAFO amendments which had been widely condemned by experienced former DFO executives and the Parliament of Canada. I will touch on the implications of this for conservation of straddling fish stocks in a subsequent post.

So, Mr. Solberg, I suggest you look a little more clearly at the government's record on environmental/conservation issues before making preposterous claims that do not bear up to scrutiny.



Jessie said...

Monte Solberg is out to lunch on this one.

Alex said...

Don't know the author of this diatribe but it's a classic mixing of apples and oranges. Actually the Harper government has set up major nature conservatories in the Arctic, both coasts and Lake Superior. So I would agree with Monte's assertion.
The unknown author is on firmer ground criticizing Harper's dismal record on climate change. With even a whiff of imagination and leadership, the Harper government COULD HAVE BEEN far more proactive in supporting alternate energy and tackling the major sources of GGH's.
Actually Harper had the perfect starting point with the Clean Air ACt that his government introduced in 2006. If it had decided to seriously tackle the major sources of air pollution in Canada, it would've reduced GGHs in the process and wouldn't have got his government mired in the debate over whether climate change is real or a delusion, which has probably been the greatest waste of time in the last decade because it stalled progress that had been in enviormental protection issues for years. However the Clean Air Act was an empty gesture and should be considered Harper's biggest failure on both the environmental protection and climate change ledgers.

Howard said...

Check the story below for some objective words on Canada's environmental performance.


Howard said...

On the other hand.... having looked at the report, I am not sure how Germany gets ahead of Canada in biodiversity protection, and the two fisheries indicators are trophic level in fisheries (which would be heavily affected by the shift from groundfish to shrimp and crustacea in Atlantic Canada) and intensity of trawling (sheesh). I suppose they are easy to measure but they are not very realistic. Canada scores very low on fisheries, natch.