Complete plan needed

St. Boniface - Thursday, September 5, 2002 - by: Mike Reilly


It is positive for Canada to be a leader in reducing the effects of global warming. However, Jean Chretien's recent announcement demonstrates he understands little about achieving objectives through leadership. In much the same way a coach builds a team and executes a planned strategy to win a game, a government leader must articulate their vision and inspire all stakeholders to work jointly to achieve results. A unilateral decision will result in a deal that meets with no one's satisfaction and will do little to help the environment.


Despite years of talks, the federal government has suggested few specific plans to achieve the Kyoto reductions by 2010. There are huge opportunities to create new environmental industries (and subsequent employment) in Canada, producing high efficiency generators and furnaces while capitalizing on "clean" energy sources such as wind and solar power. However, innovation must be done with the carrot of tax cuts, business incentives and the availability of venture capital. So far, the Chretien/Martin government has only proposed punishing tax increases, fees and tolls related to fossil fuel consumption.




The other missed opportunity has been failing to work with the United States and Mexico on a North American plan to achieve lower emissions. In contrast, Canada significantly reduced acid rain in the 1980's by leading the Reagan government. So too could we again develop a strategy which would work for all three countries without hurting Canadian business. If the US does not implement similar restrictions to energy consuming industries, they will have a trade advantage over Canada we cannot afford.




We have a right to be cynical when the Prime Minister asks us to accept a Kyoto policy which contains no details. This government has passed numerous pieces of legislation, only to adopt punishing regulations afterwards.


Canadians must demand to see a complete Kyoto plan before it is voted on in Parliament.


Mike Reilly



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