Federal Conservatives “forced” to live up to Kyoto: P-Rod steals home

As I predicted back in October, P-Rod, a.k.a. Pablo Rodriguez (Liberal MP from Honoré-Mercier) got his private member’s bill passed by Parliament. It requires the Canadian government to come up with a plan, within 60 days, to implement the Kyoto Treaty.

On one hand, whoop-dee-do. The bill just says the government has to come up with a plan and then introduce regulations to implement it. It doesn’t force the government to spend any money.

On the other hand there are public relations. If the Kyoto brand gains traction on the public agenda, it could be a problem for the Conservatives, especially if there’s a court challenge when they fail to comply. And it’s safe to say there will be a court challenge.

So it all boils down to public opinion. Right now it’s difficult to say how public opinion will trend. Polls on the issue are all over the place, and though Kyoto gets loud and favourable press this may not count for much given that few people know—and fewer care—what the treaty actually means.

All of which is to say, we’re in for some interesting times. The government has until mid-August to come up with a plan. The Ontario provincial election campaign will be coming to life soon after that. P-Rod requires regulations by mid-October. Ontario’s election will have taken place a week before that.

How big will clean air, climate change, nuclear power be in the Ontario campaign? And how will that drive federal actions and decisions on Kyoto? Stay tuned.

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