Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Don’t be playin' me Rona

Watching the replay of question period this evening for the first time since my vacation in May, and it seems little has changed. Every answer is still “Liberals did nothing, Liberals bad.” Also, Jason Kenney should send Alfonso Gagliano some topical ointment because the old guy's ears must be burning.

But what I found particularly amusing amongst all the hot air was Environment Minister Rona Ambrose’s answer to a question from the Liberals on the Con’s so-called clean-air bill. Here’s her answer, in its entirety:

Well Mr. Speaker, I’ll take friends like the Canadian Lung Association and the Canadian Medical Association who are saying, Mr. Speaker, that millions of Canadians suffer from lung cancer. And while the opposition refuses to help them we are actually proposing Canada’s Clean Air Act, which will, for the first time in Canadian history, actually regulate indoor air, which is the leading cause of lung cancer in Canada among non-smokers. So if this member actually cared about clean air, and cared about the health of Canadians, he would support this act.

So, there you go, if you don’t vote for the Conservative bill you want all Canadians dead. Just kidding.

But if you’re just half-listening, you’d think she’s saying the Cons have the full support of the CLA. That’s certainly the impression she wanted to give. Look more closely though. What did she actually attribute the groups as saying? Only “that millions of Canadians suffer from lung cancer.” Then she goes into her why her bill is great speech, and lets listeners falsely make the link in their minds. Clever, Rona.

What does the group actually think of the Conservative bill? In a statement on their Web site, the CLA indeed welcomes the attention to indoor air, and is supportive of strong regulation in the area. Just one problem. They don’t think we can wait 44 years for Rona and Stevie to actually do it, nor does it find Rona's future proposals near strong enough:

The Lung Association has serious concerns that the proposed approach under the Clean Air Act will not reduce emissions of greenhouse gases quickly enough to lessen the health effects of climate change. Warmer temperatures caused by these emissions contribute to the difficulties of Canadians suffering from respiratory illness, for instance, by increasing the frequency and severity of smog conditions in urban centres.

“We are very concerned with the proposed targets for greenhouse gases and the use of intensity-based standards in the short and medium terms, since these will result in a continuing increase in total emissions,” said Dr. Barbara MacKinnon, Director of Environmental Research for the New Brunswick Lung Association. “‘We think both the targets and the time frame need to be revised to bring much earlier net reductions."

So, that’s what the CLA actually thinks of the bill, no matter what Rona wants you to think. And that's just one example of Conservative foolishness/dishonesty/trickery that I decided to highlight from today's QP. Runner-up was some fun Jason Kenney whoppers around debt repayment. Yeah, I know you're sad to miss that. Exciting indeed.

You know, if only we could harness the hot air coming from the Conservatives here they could meet their emmision reduction targets as early as, say, 2045.

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passed gas said...

"...which will, for the first time in Canadian history, actually regulate indoor air..."

oh shit

Anonymous said...

Ambrose also referred to these excerpted sources as "friends."

Real friends don't let friends tell lies about them, especially in Parliament.

Let's hope Canada's real Health Agencies and monitors clear up the air around Ambrose, Clement and the Clean Air Act.

Also, lung cancer is caused by air pollution? Asbestos causes lung cancer, and Ambrose and her crew have recently permitted more exports of asbestos to developing countries.

With friends like that, who needs enemies?

Shannon said...

What does greenhouse gases have to do with indoor air quality - specifically radon which is one of the leading causes of lung cancer amongst non-smokers. Just wondering.

Also, if Iggy and Dion and the Climate change roundtable and even Arnold in California all set targets for absolute decreases of CO2 (greenhouse gas) at between 45-65% by 2050 WHY is it okay for them to have ultimate long term goals (based on reccomendations by scientists) but not for the Conservatives?
This is a reduction of more than 1% per year which would reverse the 27% increase we have had since signing Kyotot (more than 2% per year increases).
So, just curious - Liberals - 50% by 2050-Good
Conservatives -65% by 2050- bad.

Strange logic.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous #1, do you have a link for the claim on asbestos exports?

It does seem that the Montreal-based asbestos company signed a contract under the Liberal government that extends to March 2007.

"For the past 20 years, Canada has had a policy of aggressively promoting asbestos use.

But Ottawa is now grappling with two key issues that will indicate whether the Conservative government will continue the country's association with a product that is being banned or shunned around the world
for health reasons.

According to federal documents obtained by Ottawa-based
access-to-information researcher Ken Rubin, the government is trying to decide whether to continue subsidizing the Chrysotile Institute, a key trade
group promoting Canadian asbestos around the world. The Montreal-based organization is named after the type of asbestos fibre currently in use.

Since the Chrysotile Institute's founding in 1984, Ottawa has given it about $20-million, and is now providing $250,000 a year under an agreement that expires next March.

CI chairman Clément Godbout acknowledged that the institute will have to reduce its operations, but said it "won't die" without federal money. He said the institute is also supported by mining companies and the Quebec government.

Gary Nash, assistant deputy minister at Natural Resources, said Ottawa has
not yet made a decision.

In 2004, Canada was instrumental in keeping chrysotile asbestos off the convention's list of more than 30 dangerous substances, such as DDT and PCBs, that exporting countries must warn buyers about before making shipments."

robedger said...

Frick Jeff, you're good at that investigative blogger stuff. Good on you.

Mark Francis said...

"So, just curious - Liberals - 50% by 2050-Good Conservatives -65% by 2050- bad. "

Actually, Rona said that by 2050, without having any defined method of getting there, that the reduction would be 45% to 65%.

Arguing that -- subjectively, mind you -- the cons are better than the libs here is still setting the bar really low.

Are we know that conservatives are actively still pushing climate change denialism though third parties.

The bastards.

The lies from these people are outrageous. Good policy doesn't require backing with BS.

knb said...

So, just curious - Liberals - 50% by 2050-Good
Conservatives -65% by 2050- bad

Libs - 50% by 2050 based on 1990 levels

Cons - 45% - 65% by 2050 based on 2003 levels

fragmunt said...

BC -
good investigation; great blog.
Conservatives belief that they alone have the power to turn a prince to a frog would be amusing if not for the accompanying contempt.

Anonymous said...

Here is one link to how Canada has helped keep asbestos as a viable resource.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous #1, from your link:

" Countries will revisit the asbestos issue at a 2008 meeting of the Rotterdam Convention signatories...."

But, asbestos was actively kept on the list because of the government in place in 2004, and we know that was under the Liberals. [From the link I provided.]