Showing posts with label Elizabeth May. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Elizabeth May. Show all posts

Monday, June 11, 2012

Opposition makes hundreds of amendments to "Frankentstein" Conservative budget bill



The official opposition the New Democrats, the Liberals, and the lone Green Party member submitted hundreds of amendments to the majority Conservative government's budget bill. The budget bill which the opposition has called a Frankenstein bill goes far beyond financial matters and setting forth the budget.

There is a huge revamping of environmental laws. The changers are streamlining according to the Conservatives but to the opposition they weaken environmental laws and rush through approvals to please industry. There are also changes to oversight of the security apparatus, changes to eligibility for social security and unemployment insurance and on and on.

The opposition asked that the bill be split. In particular they wanted the legislation on environmental policy changes to be separate so it could be debated and voted on separately. However the Conservatives have a majority and use it to push through whatever they want however they want to do it.

The speaker of the house Andrew Scheer grouped amendments that were similar together. He said:“I have made every effort to respect both the wishes of the House and my responsibility to organize the consideration of report stage motions in a fair and balanced manner,”

Bill C 38 the budget bill is 425 pages long. The sole Green Party member and leader Elizabeth May introduced more than 300 amendments. She is particularly concerned with changes to environmental policy.

In total the opposition made 871 motions and amendments. The bill changes more than 70 different laws many having nothing to do with the budget. By bunching the motions and amendments together Sheer has managed to reduce the votes required to a minimum of 67 and the maximum number to 159.

Originally it was predicted that voting would take days but now it can all be done it is predicted in one marathon day. For much more see this Globe and Mail article.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Elizabeth May claims Harper may provoke an election

Actually it looks as if Ignatieff has decided to force an election if he is able to do so. He has ads out and is unveiling parts of a policy platform on the economy. Harper may be happy enough to face off though with Ignatieff being blamed. Of course this is a bit ridiculous anyway since all three opposition parties must vote against the government. If Ignatieff tries to pull back from confronting Harper he may find himself being faced with bills that he cannot swallow as Harper will take advantage of the Liberal decline in the polls to dare them to pull the plug. This is from the Chronicle Herald.

May says Harper may spark election
By STEPHEN MAHER Ottawa BureauFri. Sep 25 - 4:46 AM

OTTAWA — Green Party Leader Elizabeth May is predicting that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will find a way to engineer an election this fall, even as he attacks Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff for trying to send Canadians to the polls.
"Wouldn’t it be just like Harper to decide that things are looking good for him right now and force Jack Layton into a compromise that even Jack can’t twist himself into," said Ms. May.
Conservatives were quick to dismiss her suggestion.
"This is totally inconsistent with anything I’ve heard and everything we’re working on," said one senior Conservative strategist.
"That’s absolutely ridiculous," said Conservative party spokesman Fred DeLorey. "We do not want an unnecessary and wasteful election. The economy is our No. 1 priority and we will continue to implement our economic action plan."
At the beginning of the month, Mr. Ignatieff said that his Liberals would no longer vote for the Tories on confidence measures, which could have led to an election. But the Tories announced a plan to put $1 billion more into employment insurance over three years and the NDP said they will support the Tories at least until that is passed.
Most observers concluded that the risk of an election had been averted until at least the spring, after the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
But Ms. May said she has begun to suspect that Mr. Harper is likely to strike soon, while Mr. Ignatieff is still paying a price in the polls for threatening to spark an election.
"I think one is wise never to assume that Stephen Harper won’t do the most take-no-prisoners style of politics possible at any moment," she said.
An Ekos poll released Thursday showed the Tories at 37 points, the Liberals at 29 and the NDP at 14, continuing a trend of rising Conservative fortunes.
Ms. May points out that Mr. Harper wrong-footed then-Liberal Leader Stephane Dion a year ago by breaking his government’s own fixed-date election law and going to the polls when the Liberals looked weak. She said she thinks there is a 50-50 chance he will do it again.
"Why would he not say Ignatieff is plummeting in the polls since this whole thing started?" she said. "Our ads have ramped up. His ads aren’t doing much for the Liberals. We can go to the polls now and everyone will still blame Ignatieff. That’s the key thing. If we go to the polls now, voters will still think it was the Liberal guy who did it to us."
Parliament Hill insiders say the NDP is in financial trouble and is not ready for an election, which is why they’ve been forced to back the Tories now.
Brad Lavigne, a senior NDP strategist, wouldn’t comment. "I don’t speculate on hypotheticals," he said.
Ms. May said it would be hard for Mr. Layton to keep his caucus behind him, money problems or not, if Mr. Harper tries to push a poison pill down their throats.
"Jack has already got Joe Comartin, Peggy Nash and lots of people in that caucus not so happy," she said. "So what the heck is he going to do if Harper says OK, the next confidence measure includes — who knows what he’ll do? — something to do with women’s rights, some commitment about military engagement in Afghanistan."
Ms. May, long a harsh critic of Mr. Harper, said the he likes to control the agenda.
"He likes being in control," she said. "That’s why he brought in a ways and means motion on Sept. 18, to jump the gun on the Liberal motion. Stephen Harper’s signature character definition is he’s a control freak. In the vagaries of a minority government, he doesn’t want to have a government that depends on reaching out to other parties, achieving consensus, moving forward based on giving a bit here, giving a bit there. He sees the exercise of governing as a tactical endeavour in which winning the election is everything."
A spokesman for Mr. Harper declined to ponder Ms. May’s theory.
"Liz May who?" said Dimitri Soudas.
( smaher@herald.ca)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Green Party Leader May ponders new riding.

This is an obvious move. If the Green party leader were to be in parliament she would get more media exposure. This will probably boost the party fortunes and if it doesn't it will encourage the party to choose a new leader! Although the Green Party gets a significant percentage of the vote, since it is so spread out so far no one has been elected. If May runs in a constitutency with a strong Green constituency she could very well pull off the first win.

Green party leader May ponders new riding
Evan French/North Star
North Star, News, Wednesday, August 19, 2009
by Evan French A new riding for Green party leader Elizabeth May was a key issue discussed during Adriane Carr’s lunch visit to Parry Sound.
The party’s deputy leader was in town Friday for a visit with local Green candidate Glen Hodgson and other local supporters to chat about strategy for the next election and to explain why the party’s leader would be “parachuting in” to a new riding next time around.
Carr, who is best known for her affiliation with the Green party of British Columbia, made the visit as part of a national tour, visiting towns and candidates across the country to provide training and support to prepare members in the event an election is called in the fall.
In the recent election, the Greens gobbled up votes, bringing them closer to parity with the New Democratic Party, but still failed to secure that all-important first seat in the House of Commons.
To increase her chances of being the first Green MP, May has decided she’ll leave the riding of Central Nova – Conservative Defence Minister Peter McKay’s riding — to transplant to a greener riding.
Carr said May has made her decision, and although it isn’t yet public, she’ll be going to either the Grey-Bruce-Owen Sound riding in Ontario, or to the Saanich-Gulf Islands, in B.C.
Carr said they’re “concentrating our efforts, and targeting to win.” They’ve looked at other Green parties around the globe who have been successful in winning seats, and are tailoring their strategy accordingly.
“We’ve adopted with our party the national policy of the England Greens, which is called the target to win policy,” said Carr. “It’s focusing on where you have your very best chance, your very best people, and focus your resources.
“For the first time ever, the Green party of Canada has written a campaign plan that is fully detailed, with a pre-written plan and a campaign execution plan, with goals,” said Carr.
The big goal right now: win a seat for May. And when Green strategists suggested May might have to move to accomplish the goal, said Carr, she was all for it.
“She said yes, I want to see polling, I want to see the work that’s been done to identify that riding. So we did go out and actually survey.”
Carr said more and more Canadians are beginning to believe that problems with the faltering economy could be solved with a more environmental approach, so it’s more important now than ever for May to gain a solid footing in a supportive riding.
She said while it’s clear that some countries aren’t ready to commit to environmental reform, it’s important for Canada to set a good example.
“Canada is very much an embarrassing lagger in this,” said Carr. “We need to use — and governments have to use — the current economic crisis as an opportunity to switch the economic path onto one that is also a good path for the environment.”
She said Greens want to see carbon conservation as a start down a path toward renewable energy, following examples set by other developed nations.
.....................“When the German Greens got into power and formed a coalition government ... they wanted to put Germany on a renewable energy path. The people said you’re going to cost the economy thousands of jobs. In one year after making this move — Germany investing in renewable energy, especially wind — there were more jobs and more stimulus to the economy ... than there were jobs in the nuclear and coal industries combined.”
Hodgson said it’s a myth that what’s good for the economy has to be bad for the environment, and proof can be found in Parry Sound.
“You just have to look locally, where we have companies like Crofter’s, a company just out of town that makes organic jam,” he said. “Their product line is flying off the shelves, and they’re not compromising. So it’s such a myth to think that you have to lower your standards in order to be accepted.”
..................................Carr said the future of the economy is green, and the proof can be seen in a changing attitude among Canadian youth.
“We have a son at university, and he was saying ‘you know the girls at university, when they ask you what kind of vehicle you drive they want you to be driving a smart car,’” she said. “Muscle cars are out because they’re not being responsible. So that’s kind of reflective of the shift in terms of consumer purchasing, it’s going green.”
Hodgson, who teaches at Parry Sound High School, said local youngsters seem to be thinking along the same lines, since they’ve chosen the Green party — in a student vote held across the district — for several years. He said he thinks it’s because they want to see change, not because they know him as a teacher.
“I get really upset when people suggest to me that it’s because I’m a teacher because to me that really discredits the young people,” he said. “I totally reject it and I think it’s insulting quite frankly to the kids, to suggest that they only do that because a lot of them know me. They’re familiar with the party, and they’ve supported it for years. Those kids are getting older and some of those kids are voters now. As they get older I think we’re going to see the demographics change.”
He said in the meantime, he has to work hard to win the votes of many other locals, who have voted the same way for years, and are reticent to cast their vote on the party that got its start in 1983.
“I think that in this riding there’s certainly deep traditions about voting intentions and that’s what we want to shake,” he said. “We run into things like ‘my grandfather voted this way, my father voted this way and that’s what we’ve always voted.’ Greens, being relatively new on the block, it really takes time and a lot of effort to be able to shake that voting intention.”
Carr said voting habits are tough to break, and it’s an issue the party faces across the country.
“Part of the challenge is getting people to free themselves up to vote the way they really feel they want to, not worrying necessarily about the outcome, but just thinking of their vote as a confirmation they most feel they’d like to see represented in Ottawa.
“And that’s the way democracy ought to work. The flaw in our voting system is that doesn’t give people that sense that they can vote freely and expect the outcome to reflect it.”

Saturday, December 13, 2008

May: Embarassing to be a Canadian at Climate talks

Well out of 57 countries we managed to beat only Saudia Arabia in fighting climate change. Even Bush managed to do better! Of course Harper will continue to tout his environmental policies. Given the economic situation and that some green policies might impose costs on some Harper's poor performance may not hurt him all that much. Dion certainly did not prosper with his Green plans. Ignatieff so far has said little about the environment as far as I have seen.


'Embarrassing' to be a Canadian at climate talks: Green party leader
Last Updated: Saturday, December 13, 2008 1:32 PM ET
CBC News
The UN climate conference in Poznan, Poland, was a "mark of shame" for Canada, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said on Saturday.
Delegates from poorer nations were angry at Canada for not meeting its commitments under the Kyoto protocol, as well as all industrialized countries for stalling on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, May told CBC News.
During the conference, which began Dec. 1, Canada won several Fossil of the Day Awards, announced by Climate Action Network International, a group that includes more than 400 non-governmental organizations.
"It was embarrassing being a Canadian at these meetings," May said.
"Canada, unfortunately, was about the worst performer here, and that's saying a lot. That means worse than the United States with the lame-duck Bush administration, still doing what it can to obstruct.
"But in the negotiations, Canada, I say, won. It's really a mark of shame," she said.
May said the mood was anything but upbeat as the talks came to a close with a post-midnight session, ending early Saturday, nine hours after the conference had been due to close.
May sees no real progress at talks
"The speeches at the end of the session really were tinged with regret, and, from some countries, outright anger that the industrialized countries have been taking their time, coming up with excuses," May said.
"There was not real progress made here. It was basically an agreement to keep on talking," she added.
Environmental groups have criticized Canada for its plans to use 2006 as a base year for calculating greenhouse gas emission reductions, instead of the year 1990, as outlined in the Kyoto agreement.
The Climate Change Performance Index, an assessment compiled by environmental groups Germanwatch and Climate Action Network Europe, ranked Canada second last out of the 57 largest greenhouse-gas emitters in its performance in fighting climate change, ahead of only Saudi Arabia.
Environment Minister Jim Prentice defended his government's performance, saying Canada's delegates had constructive dialogues with other countries.
"Not everyone necessarily agrees with our positions," he said. "However, we have been quite clear that we wish to be a constructive force in concluding an effective international protocol.
"I have engaged in bilaterals with many of the countries that are here and will continue to do that as we work toward Copenhagen."
Delegations from nearly 190 countries are negotiating a new climate change pact, to be completed next December in the Danish capital of Copenhagen, that would succeed the Kyoto Protocol when it expires in 2012.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

May giving MacKay a run for his money.

If I were a betting man, which I am not, I would bet that May will lose. Maybe the Greens should opt for strategic voting and vote for the NDP candidate!


May giving MacKay 'a run for his money' TheStar.com - Federal Election - May giving MacKay 'a run for his money'
Defence minister says rival is an outsider who doesn't know riding
October 12, 2008 Sandro ContentaStaff Reporter
NEW GLASGOW, N.S.–Town crier Jim Stewart, a lifelong Conservative voter, says tradition holds him to strict public neutrality in matters of partisan politics. But if he could express his support in this election, he'd shout and clang his bell for the Green party.
He credits Green Leader Elizabeth May with changing his political stripes.
Until her candidacy in Central Nova riding, Stewart was a staunch supporter of Peter MacKay, the Conservative cabinet minister and incumbent for the past 11 years.
"I knocked on doors for his father – I campaigned for Elmer," Stewart said yesterday, referring to the elder MacKay, who won six general elections and launched what some say is a political family dynasty.
"Suddenly this dynamic lady moves into the area and she's a ball of fire, and people like her," added Stewart, 53, referring to May. "I just think it's time for a change."
Stewart made his comments in an interview after watching both candidates coincidentally bump into each other at a farmers' market.
The rivals greeted each other frostily as MacKay, holding a newly bought pumpkin, found himself leaving the moment May arrived.
Green party officials released a poll they commissioned showing MacKay supported by 36.7 per cent of those surveyed, May with 29.3 per cent, NDP candidate Louise Lorefice with 20.7 per cent and 13 per cent undecided. (The Oct. 8-9 Oracle poll of 300 people has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 per cent.)
May said the tight race has her Conservative rivals in a panic.
"What a leap of faith that this riding will elect me," she said in an interview. "What a leap of faith that it's even possible."
MacKay, the minister of defence, dismissed such talk as wishful thinking. In an interview, he described May – who was born in the U.S. and spent years in nearby Cape Breton and Ottawa before moving to New Glasgow – as an outsider who doesn't understand the riding.
"There's a tradition here that goes back many generations," he said.
For farmer Ed Lakenman, 56, voting MacKay is part of that tradition.
"I know Peter MacKay and my father knew Elmer. It would take something pretty dramatic for me to change my vote," Lakenman said.
But Bonnie Cotter, 49, a jewellery maker who usually votes Tory, said: "Don't get me wrong – I think Peter's a good guy. And Elizabeth May didn't convince me at first, but I'm slowly thinking I may vote her way."
Added Conservative supporter Jean-Pierre Angst, 61: "She's giving Peter MacKay a run for his money."
In 2006, more than 10,000 people in the riding voted Liberal and a key question is who they will support this time. Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion decided not to run a candidate against May since he is her choice for next prime minister.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

May calls out Harper, Layton for boycott threats.

Layton is disappointing. His position seems to be identical to that of Harper. The same crapola that she is just a Liberal in disguise. If she were a Liberal why would she disguise it and why would she bother to run candidates against the Liberals in most ridings. May does seem to have good relations with the Liberals and has an agreement with them re running in her own riding but that does not add up to her being a Liberal. However, May should have criticized Dion as well since he said that if Harper withdrew because May was participating he would not debate either. Actually I think it would be great if there were a debate with no Harper. This would make him seem like an arrogant fool. As it is he shows his evasiveness by not answering the question as to whether he really said he would not debate if May were included.


May calls out Harper, Layton for boycott threats
Blasts leaders who 'secretly threatened' to skip debates
Last Updated: Tuesday, September 9, 2008 11:52 AM ET
CBC News
Green party Leader Elizabeth May plans to appeal to the CRTC over her exclusion from the leaders debates. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
Green party Leader Elizabeth May sharply criticized Conservative Leader Stephen Harper and NDP Leader Jack Layton on Tuesday, demanding they publicly admit they threatened to boycott debates next month if she were to be included.
"I think we have to out the leaders who secretly threatened not to participate," May said in an interview with CBC News on Tuesday.
Her comments come a day after a consortium of television networks declined to let May participate in the nationally televised debates, saying three parties threatened to boycott but providing no more details.
The Green party will file a formal complaint with Canada's broadcast regulator, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission on Tuesday, May said.
The party also started an online petition Tuesday demanding May be included in the debates.
Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe didn't threaten a boycott, but did express a preference for only the four major parties at the debate, and Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion has said he supported May's inclusion — but wouldn't attend the debate if Harper wasn't there.
"It looks like it's Mr. Layton and Mr. Harper," May said. "I think the Canadian public deserves an answer from each of them. Would they actually refuse to appear on a stage if I was there?"
In arguing against May's inclusion, the Tories and NDP cited a deal she struck with Dion, in which they agreed not to run candidates against each other in their respective Nova Scotia and Quebec ridings.
The NDP confirmed late Monday that Layton had said he wouldn't attend the debate were May allowed to participate.
"We said that if the Liberals were going to have two representatives, we would not accept the invitation," campaign spokesman Brad Lavigne said on Monday.
No comment from Harper
When asked by reporters in Winnipeg on Tuesday whether he told the consortium he would pull out of the debate upon May's inclusion, Harper said :"I gather that the consortium has made a decision, and I have no further comment on that decision."
On Monday, Harper said letting May participate in the debates would in essence allow a "second Liberal candidate" to participate, which he said was unfair.
Harper said May would endorse the Liberal party before the campaign was over.
But May told reporters in Ottawa on Monday afternoon, that there's "absolutely no way" that she would turn her back on Green candidates running against Liberals and endorse Dion.
Harper was afraid the Greens would cut into his voter base, said May.
"Progressive Conservatives and former Reformers … are really disappointed and disillusioned that Mr. Harper has taken a party whose roots were in grassroots democracy and populism and turned it on its head into a top-down control machine that wants to run over everyone."
May also criticized the consortium for giving in to Harper and Layton's demands, saying it should have "called their bluff."

Monday, May 26, 2008

Green Leader blasts NDP on carbon tax stance.

This is from CTV.
I am not all that knowledgable about the details of this issue. However it seems reasonable that Layton should be concerned about the effects on the less well off of a carbon tax. Although the Liberals say the policy will be revenue neutral that does not settle the issue of what effects the tax may have on different income strata. I don't see why Layton does not demand that any carbon tax should also be coupled with a policy that offsets any negative effects the tax may have on lower income groups. Layton talks as if the cap and trade policy is an alternative to a carbon tax rather than a complementary policy that is also justified.
It sounds as if Elizabeth May is very supportive of the Liberals. Maybe if she gets elected she can sit on her hands and support the Conservatives too while screaming about how bad their environmental policies are.
Suzuki is a good propagandist and showperson for environmental issues but he is also a prima donna who does not like criticism of his views on the environment to put it mildly.

Green leader blasts NDP on carbon tax stance
Updated Sun. May. 25 2008 9:49 PM ET
CTV.ca News Staff
NDP Leader Jack Layton's opposition to a carbon tax shows he's more interested in hurting the Liberals than helping the environment, says Green Party Leader Elizabeth May.
"We need to act on the climate crisis, and a carbon tax is a litmus test of whether a party is serious about it or not," May told CTV's Question Period on Sunday.
Layton's opposition to a carbon tax "is not part of the global social democratic approach," she said, adding his political rivalry with the Liberals may be driving policy.
The Green Party also advocates a carbon tax. The Liberals will soon unveil a proposal that would shift taxes off income and onto carbon, with the overall tax burden remaining unchanged. By putting a price on carbon, people will theoretically use less, thus helping reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change.
Layton has taken some blows from environmentalists for his party's stance, including David Suzuki, perhaps the most prominent environmentalist in Canada.
"I'm really shocked with the NDP with this. I thought that they had a very progressive environmental outlook," Suzuki told Question Period on May 18.
Layton told Question Period that his party supports the pricing of carbon and that his party's policies are in line with many of those promoted by the David Suzuki Foundation.
The solution promoted by Layton involves "cap and trade" -- putting a strict limit on greenhouse gas emissions by what he called the "big polluters." Those polluters would pay if they exceed, and the revenues would be directed by the government to climate-friendly initiatives, he said.
"Things like helping weatherize homes right across the country, creating thousands and thousands of jobs for Canadians and reducing their bills and greenhouse gas emissions," he said.
The NDP would see more green cars built in Canada and invest in public transit and renewable energy, Layton said.
A cap-and-trade system would move more quickly than a carbon tax. Big oil and gas supports a carbon tax, while U.S. Democrat Barack Obama supports cap-and-trade, he said.
But environmentalist Stephen Hazell of the Sierra Club has said cap-and-trade systems take a long time to develop.
Tories oppose carbon tax
Conservative Environment Minister John Baird told Question Period on May 18 that his government will "force the big polluters, big corporate polluters" to pay for their emissions.
"(Liberal Leader Stephane) Dion wants to give some sort of unlimited licence to pollute and just simply allow big business to buy their way out of this problem," he said.
Layton said his party's policies were nothing like those of the Harper government. Prime Minister Stephen Harper "has his head stuck in the tar sands," he said.
May called cap-and-trade a "right-wing, free-market approach" -- although she conceded her party supported it on a sectoral basis.
Some have said a carbon tax could drive up home heating costs and adversely affect those least able to bear the additional cost.
Properly implemented, a carbon tax would protect the vulnerable by shifting taxes and providing income supplements to low-income households, May said.
High taxes on income and payroll don't give Canadians the financial flexibility to do things like increase the energy efficiency of their homes, she said.
"It needs to be explained, but I think Canadians are smart enough to understand the idea that we need to ensure that we reduce our use of fossil fuels, that the climate crisis is upon us, and this is not the only thing we need to do, but it is the foundation for a successful climate policy," May said.
Oil prices are high and likely to stay there in the near term. Some analysts think introducing a carbon tax now would be a politically risky move.
"Canadians are sick of politicians who don't tell them the truth," May said.
Some politicians "want to pander to prices at the pump while ignoring disappearing glaciers, persistent droughts and increased storm events," she said.
"We need to act on the climate crisis, and I'm disappointed that Mr. Layton is on the wrong side of this one."

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Selective Memory on Chamberlain Comparisons

This article shows the total hypocrisy of the condemnations of May's use of a Chamberlain comparison--one that was not even hers but that of George Monbiot. Maybe Canada needs a Dept. of Virtue and Vice which the Taliban had--and also just recently the Afghan government re-instated. The Dept. could regulate the use of comparisons and categorise Chamberlain comparisons as politically incorrect. Politicians using them could in familiar family values fashion have their mouths washed out with soap.


The Commons: Selective memory
Let he who has not made a Neville Chamberlain reference cast the first stone
Aaron Wherry, Macleans.ca | May 2, 2007 | 9:11 am EST

Scrumming with reporters after Tuesday's Question Period, NDP leader Jack Layton was asked for his take on Elizabeth May's questionable use of a Neville Chamberlain reference to describe the Conservative government's stance on the environment. Layton did not mince words.
"Well, we certainly would have never made any such comparison," he said. "I think it's very unfortunate and certainly not something that we consider to be wise or appropriate."
Pity Layton. His memory obviously fails him.
Now, I'm not generally in the business of doing the Green Party's homework, but a quick review of Hansard finds more than a few Chamberlain references on the record. In fact, here's Layton questioning then-prime minister Paul Martin about the Liberal government's failure to meet Kyoto targets:
Continued Below


"Mr. Speaker, enough is enough. We have been hearing those kinds of comments from the Prime Minister for 16 years since he began promising to clean up the air for Canadians and instead we have worse pollution than ever. He makes Neville Chamberlain look like a stalwart in standing up to a crisis. Smog is sending people to emergency wards at unprecedented levels. The prairies are drying up. We have forest fires like we have never had before. All we get are promises of plans to be brought forward some day. Will he bring forward a plan, yes or no?"
After QP, Liberal leader Stéphane Dion added his voice to those calling for May to withdraw the comments. One assumes he said the same thing to Liberal MP Robert Thibault, who, just a little more than a month ago, mustered this during a budget debate:
"I listened to the Minister of Finance when he was reading his budget speech. He said that the long days of bickering between the federal and provincial governments were over. I have not heard a quote like that since I read about Neville Chamberlain talking about peace in our times right before the second world war."
And before the Conservatives get cocky, let's remember this year-old gem from Peter MacKay, during a debate over extending the Canadian mission in Afghanistan:
"I do not expect members of the NDP to understand this. I fully expect that the Neville Chamberlains of the 21st century in the NDP do not want to be part of an effort that is aimed at elevating the lives of the people of Afghanistan. It is unfortunate that they would take this off track and try to debase the real activity, the important quality of life changes that are taking place because of our forces being in Afghanistan."
MacKay was at least speaking in reference to a military operation. But then, if a reference to Neville Chamberlain is always "inappropriate," a multi-partisan apology seems in order.

May: Harper fanning the flames of controversy

It is a bit odd to use Monbiot as a typical representative of international opinion but given that she did so it would have been nice if she had also included his even more provocative part about Bush, Howard, and Harper being remembered as an axis of evil on the environment. Monbiot is always provocative and often his points are quite valid although what he says should be diluted a bit before swallowing.
The political correctness responses are predictable but nauseating. I thought it was the left that is supposed to insist on political correctness not Conservatives such as Harper. They are the ones that are supposed to be doing the offending not some Green woman!

Harper 'fanning flames' of controversy, says May
Last Updated: Wednesday, May 2, 2007 | 10:50 AM ET
CBC News
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May fired back at Prime Minister Stephen Harper Wednesday, accusing him of fanning the flames of controversy to distract people from criticism of his environmental plan.

May has been in the headlines for comments she made on the weekend that compared the government's approach to climate change to former British prime minister Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of the Nazis.

Speaking on CBC Newsworld, May said the comparison was not her own, but came from British journalist and author George Monbiot.

May said she included it in her address in order to illustrate international opinion of Canada.

"In citing that, what I was saying was, 'Look how far Canada's reputation has fallen, look at how the world is now looking at us for violating our international commitments on Kyoto,'" she said.

"I thought that was worth Canadians knowing."



PM desperate to distract: May
Harper raised the issue during question period on Tuesday, saying May's remarks drew criticism from the Canadian Jewish Congress.

He also invited Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion, who recently reached a deal with May not to run candidates against each other in their respective ridings, to distance himself from the Green leader.

May said Harper and Environment Minister John Baird are "fanning this into something I didn't say."

"I never drew any comparisons or diminished the Holocaust in any way. I would never do such a thing," said May.

"It's a desperate effort to distract attention from [Ottawa's] own abdication of responsibility in choosing not to even try to reach Kyoto targets."

May said Dion likely didn't know what she actually said in her weekend address at the London, Ont., church when he called on her to withdraw the comment.

May stands by comment
May blamed the London Free Press, which covered her address, for what she said was a failure to mention that she noted she was quoting Monbiot.

In its April 30 report, the newspaper wrote: "Borrowing a quote she said was made by a foreign dignitary about Prime Minister Stephen Harper, May said his stance on climate change 'represents a grievance worse than Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of the Nazis.'"

May said she stands by the "appropriateness of quoting George Monbiot."

"I do not think what I said in any way is inflammatory," said May. "I think it was the misreporting that led some to dive for cover."

Prince Charles and British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett recently likened the need to fight climate change to Britain's efforts during the Second World War, said May.

"This is the central issue of our time, whether we are able to take up our responsibility … to protect future generations," she said.

May said she left out a portion of Monbiot's article, in which he says U.S. President George W. Bush, Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Harper will be remembered as the new "axis of evil" for failing to meet the environmental challenges of the day.