Canada the Treaty Breaker

Prime Minister Stephen Harper finally agreed to go to the Copenhagen conference on climate change. After calling climate science a “socialist plot”, and working diligently as a friend and ally of George Bush’s America, he has reluctantly agreed to engage. But Canada’s role appears to be one of deal breaker. The government has done very little on the climate file, and is allowing its only programs that do something about it to run out of funds. Meanwhile, emissions, which were to have declined by 6%, have risen by 26%. Canada has not honoured, and worse, has not even tried to honour its treaty obligations.

To get a sense of what the world thinks of Canada right now, look at George Monbiot’s latest remarks.

” Canada is a cultured, peaceful nation, which every so often allows a band of rampaging Neanderthals to trample all over it. Timber companies were licensed to log the old-growth forest in Clayaquot Sound; fishing companies were permitted to destroy the Grand Banks: in both cases these get-rich-quick schemes impoverished Canada and its reputation. But this is much worse, as it affects the whole world. The government’s scheming at the climate talks is doing for its national image what whaling has done for Japan.

I will not pretend that this country is the only obstacle to an agreement at Copenhagen. But it is the major one. It feels odd to be writing this. The immediate threat to the global effort to sustain a peaceful and stable world comes not from Saudi Arabia or Iran or China. It comes from Canada.”

My home and native land. Perhaps those maple leafs will be coming off the backpacks of Canadians (and Americans) in Europe.

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