New Democrat dogma threatens Canada’s only successful emission-reducton program

It’s a bit ironic that Canada’s drive to Kyoto compliance could be thwarted by the political party that says it is Kyoto’s biggest supporter: the NDP. The NDP, which holds the balance of power in the current Parliament, is in the lucky position of driving the minority Conservative government’s environmental agenda. All indications are it will drive it right off the road.

The NDP caucus is staunchly anti-nuclear. We’ll find out how serious that sentiment is when the Conservatives go to put their money where Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn’s mouth is. Lunn, as Canadian newspaper readers and television viewers have learned over the past month, loves the atom. He wants Alberta to embrace it, as a way of reducing the massive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from that province’s petroleum producing and power generating sectors.

So far the NDP has scoffed at Lunn’s enthusiasm. No nukes, they say. Well, if they dig in on this issue they could put the kibosh on the Conservatives’ plans to bankroll the nuclear renaissance in Ontario. As I and others have pointed out, recently refurbished nuclear reactors are the reason Ontario’s electricity GHGs were 12 million tonnes less in 2006 than in 2000.

How unified are the Dippers on the issue? Their environment critic, Nathan Cullen, sounds like he gets his media lines from Greenpeace. But their leader Jack Layton, on The Agenda with Steve Paikin on January 16, told about how he handed a copy of Tim Flannery’s book The Weathermakers to Stephen Harper in an attempt to turn the Prime Minister into a climate change believer.

Does Layton know that Flannery is pro-nuclear? Maybe that’s what Harper got out of reading him.

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