Thursday, February 15, 2007

Who's really looking green?

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It should be seen as no coincidence that on this day, two separate news stories dominated the media in Fredericton and Ottawa respectively. At the Legislature, Premier Shawn Graham publicly stated that New Brunswick would not be living up to its Kyoto commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The province’s current emissions are at 47% of 1990 levels, and the Kyoto Protocol calls for a 6% reduction from 1990 levels by the year 2010. The opposition Conservatives were quick to criticize Graham’s autonomous plan for environmental action, and lauded the benefits of cooperative government initiatives to combat climate change.

This situation seems remarkably similar to the battle that has been waging in Ottawa since Stephen Harper’s Conservatives took a minority government in 2006. In fact, today Parliament passed the bill of Liberal MP Pablo Rodriguez to reinstate the Federal government’s commitment to the Kyoto Protocol. This was the end result of the headstrong actions of a Conservative government that refused to live up to an agreement that 70% of Canadians support.

In New Brunswick the situation is exactly the same, except it is the Liberal government turning its back on an international agreement, with Conservatives taking the opposite view. How can Liberal and Conservative party members in this province truly support their own leaders, when the views of each branch of the party are so clearly divergent? This hypocrisy exposes both parties and their obvious lip-service to the environmental issue.

The NDP is the only party that has supported the Kyoto Protocol and is unwavering in its commitment to improving and preserving our environment. New Brunswick deserves a voice that will represent your true values and will not play political games of chess with the lives of our future generations.

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