That Canadians give Stephen Harper’s "new" Conservatives a failing grade on the environment is hardly surprising. We know their record. We know they have embarrassed us before the world, repeatedly, on Kyoto, climate change and the environment in their one short year of bungling and bad government.
It would have been a refreshing change had the born-again CA/Reform Party allowed Canadians to take a leadership role on the world stage, as did Brian Mulroney’s Progressive Conservatives. Instead, Harper fails to show up to conferences on Kyoto, Ambrose leaves early from a conference chaired by Canada and fails to show up for a BC "Town Hall" on Kyoto claiming to be preparing for Nairobi, where she embarrassed us all with cheap partisanship on the world stage. A "Clean Air Act" which fails to get serious about the environment and a new Environment Minister whose first words condescendingly fed us form over substance tell us that politics and political interest trump the environment for this government.
It’s too early to say whether the claims that "we’ve changed" are real or rhetoric, but we deserve to know that there will be no return to the days when then CA Environment Critic Bob Mills came to BC calling for a "North American" solution because George Bush wouldn’t meet America’s Kyoto commitments, questioned the science of climate change, and dismissed international agreements achieved through the UN as socialist.